Recent Posts

Why is there a wet spot on my ceiling?

1/16/2023 (Permalink)

Letting a water spot go untreated may lead to further damage such as mold growth or higher maintenance costs.

Water spots on your ceiling are caused by excess moisture that has seeped through the above drywall, and has sat there long enough to leave a mark.

And what creates this excess moisture? A common source is condensation, but water spots can also form due to roof leaks, plumbing leaks, or hard water. Condensation can form around air vents or ducts when cool air from your AC unit comes in contact with the hotter air in your home, or vice versa with your heater unit in colder temperatures. Roof leaks can be caused by heavy rain or snow. Plumbing leaks can be caused by many factors, usually a broken or clogged pipe. Heavy accumulation of chalky deposits around faucets due to hard water can eat away pipe cavities over time, leading to drips and water spots.

There are many possible causes of water spots around your home and on your ceiling, here’s what to do if that happens:

Taking care of water spots

Water spots are best taken care of the sooner the better. Letting a water spot go untreated may lead to further damage such as mold growth or higher maintenance costs. Do not ignore water spots! Simply painting over the damaged area will only be a temporary cosmetic fix and will not lead to long term resolve such as replacing a broken pipe, upgrading insulation, installing a water softening system, etc.

Once the issue at hand is addressed and you’re looking for a Do-IT-Yourself (DIY) remedy to hide the stain, apply a mild cleaning solution bleach solvent (one part bleach and 3 parts warm water), apply a base coat of stain-blocking primer, and a thin layer of ceiling paint. If the issue needs more than a quick fix, call SERVPRO.

Getting rid of water stains can be time consuming without professional help, especially if there is mold growth present or more serious underlying issues. SERVPRO of Northwest & Northeast Cincinnati can inspect and test the area for mold, and suggest best actions to be taken to remediate the issue. We are your one stop shop for water damage restoration and reconstruction! If you notice a water spot on your ceiling, call us today to set up your FREE estimate: 513-541-3200.

We’re Here to Help.

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Flood Damage?

12/16/2022 (Permalink)

If you’re worried about flood damage, make sure to check your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Floods are one of the most common natural disasters in the United States. In fact, according to FEMA, floods are the nation's most costly and frequent natural disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that over a 20-year period, about two out of three American homeowners will experience at least one flood event costing them $1,000 or more. While homeowners insurance does not cover damage caused by flooding (with some exceptions), you may be able to purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

What To Do If Your Home Floods

When you’re faced with the prospect of dealing with flood damage, the first thing you should do is call your insurance company. Your homeowner's policy may cover some or all of this damage, but it’s important to know what rules apply.

If you don’t have flood insurance, then there are a few other things to consider: You might not be covered by your homeowner's policy if you live in an area prone to flooding, such as near rivers or streams that overflow their banks during heavy rains.  If this is the case for you, then unless there is another form of coverage (such as earthquake insurance), damage from flooding can fall on your shoulders alone and cost thousands of dollars out-of-pocket!

If you do have flood insurance in place through NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program), then here's what happens when a flood hits: Your home will most likely be covered up to its limit amount listed on your FEMA policy; however, if any repairs exceed that amount then they'll need approval before being made by FEMA itself (and maybe even require an inspection).

Consider Flood Insurance

Your homeowner's insurance policy probably won't cover flood damage, so consider getting flood insurance for your home.

Flood insurance is a separate policy that can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and many private insurers. It covers losses from water damage due to floods, which are typically caused after heavy rainfall or snowmelt when rivers rise above their banks and overflow onto land.

Flood policies differ from standard homeowners' insurance in three important ways: they're not required by mortgage lenders, they typically offer more coverage than basic policies, and they usually carry higher premiums than other types of homeowner's coverage.

Avoiding Financial Disaster

In addition to providing coverage for the building and its contents, a standard homeowners insurance policy provides liability coverage in case you or your family members are injured by someone else.

Homeowner's insurance generally does not cover damage caused by floods. However, if you live in a flood-prone area or have been advised by your local government agency to purchase extra protection, you may be able to purchase separate flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). You can also buy flood insurance from private insurers who sell policies through the NFIP. It is important that you understand exactly what types of losses are covered under both programs before purchasing any type of supplemental flood protection policy

Mold Removal Isn’t Covered

A mold problem is a common issue after a flood. Mold can be very dangerous, and it can also ruin your property by destroying its walls, floors, and other surfaces. Unfortunately, many homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover mold removal costs.

If you’re worried about flood damage, make sure to check your homeowner’s insurance policy. If it doesn’t cover flood damage, consider getting a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for your home. Even if you don’t live in a flood zone, flooding can happen anywhere and at any time—and sometimes even outside of a high-risk season.

When you experience a flood in your Cincinnati, OH home or business, give SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati a call! 

What Do I Do If My Basement Floods?

11/7/2022 (Permalink)

If you have a flooded basement, call SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati.

What to Do When Your Basement Floods

When your basement floods, it can be a serious problem. It can damage your belongings, cause mold to grow, and create a breeding ground for rodents and other pests. But luckily there are some steps you can take to make sure the water doesn’t get too deep or stay in your basement for a long time.

Find the Source

First, it's important to find the source of your problem. This is an easy task if you can easily identify where the water is coming from. But sometimes, your basement will flood without any obvious cause.

When this happens, it's time to do some detective work and figure out what caused the water to appear in your basement:

  • Check that there aren't any leaks or drips from other parts of your house or yard. You may have noticed that a leaky pipe or broken sprinkler head has been causing damage for weeks now and just didn't know about it!
  • Check all of your sump pump systems and make sure they're working properly; if not, fix them immediately so you won't have any more problems later on down the road (like when winter comes).
  • If there are no apparent causes for why this happened (like faulty plumbing), then something must be wrong with either how much rain fell overnight/weekend/etc., how much snow melted during this same period too...and so forth!

Turn Off your Electricity

Turn off the main breaker at the service panel, or if you cannot see the meter box, turn off all individual circuit breakers one by one until no lights are on in your basement. If you are unable to find any kind of power switch for the main breaker or individual breakers, call an electrician to help with this step.

Once electricity is off and your appliances have been removed from wet areas, it's safe to begin cleaning up your basement.

Clear Out As Many Things As Possible

If the water is rising, don't risk leaving your valuables behind. As soon as you spot a leak, clear out appliances or collectibles immediately if they're in harm's way. You can also take pictures of what’s there before you pack them up and store them elsewhere. 

If you have to leave your home because of flooding, make sure to bring along important documents (like insurance papers) and photos with you so that they're not lost in the chaos. Once everything has been moved away from danger, don't forget to take any pets with you!

Check with Your Insurance Company

The first thing you should do if you know your basement is flooding is to make sure that everyone in the house is safe. Once everyone has been accounted for and the immediate danger has passed, the next step would be to assess the damage. If it’s not too severe, then there are ways for you to fix it yourself – but only if there isn’t any water leaking into other rooms or causing mold growth.

If there's no way around hiring a professional contractor (for example, if there is water seeping into other parts of your home), it might be worth contacting one sooner rather than later so they can help prevent further damage from occurring while they do their job. Either way, make sure that everyone who works in this area has proper safety equipment and that nobody's at risk of falling through any weakened floors or stairs into an unsafe space below them!

If you do find yourself with a flooded basement, it’s important to remember these steps to get you through this tough time. A basement is one of the most vulnerable parts of your home, so take steps now to make sure you don’t have to deal with this problem in the future, if possible. And if disaster does strike? Don’t panic—remember our tips for dealing with flooding and follow them closely! 

The best piece of advice we have for a flooded basement is to call SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati. We will be there to restore your Cincinnati home quickly. 

How Do I Create an Office Fire Escape Plan?

10/10/2022 (Permalink)

Practice with everyone involved your fire escape plan.

How To Create a Fire Escape Plan

A fire escape plan is a key component of any office's emergency preparedness plan. This should be a part of every company's overall emergency management program, which includes evacuation plans for the building and property in case of natural disasters or other emergencies. A fire escape plan can help you evacuate your employees quickly when there is no time to waste.

Identify and Mark All Exits

Identify all possible exits, including windows. Know where you are, who is with you, and how to get out in an emergency. If there is a fire alarm system in your building, make sure everyone knows what to do if it sounds (for example: "For the evacuation signal, direct all personnel within hearing range to immediately evacuate the building through designated exit routes"). You should also have a plan for getting out if the fire starts in an area where there are no designated exits (for example: "If smoke or heat conditions preclude exiting through normal exit routes—such as stairwells—provide another means").

Designate A Meeting Place

In the event of an emergency and you need to evacuate your building, it's important to plan ahead. You'll want a safe place for everyone who is working in the building to meet once they've been evacuated. This can be a nearby landmark or tree, street corner, intersection—or even another spot on the same block as your workplace if that's more convenient.

It's best if everyone knows where they are meeting before they leave their desks. Make sure everyone has access to this information so they can share it with others who may not have seen it yet (such as people walking up from downstairs).

Practice, Practice, Practice

At the end of the day, your office fire escape plan is useless if it's never put into action. You have to practice with everyone involved and make sure they know their role in the plan.

The Plan Should be Easily Accessible

Make sure your plan is clearly posted throughout the office so everyone can easily review it. The best way to do this is to hang up a copy in each common area where you will be working.

Make sure the plan is easy to understand, and that it doesn't have any confusing or unclear language in it. If someone looks at your fire escape plan and doesn't immediately understand what they're seeing, then it won't help them when an emergency happens.

Make sure the plan is accessible to everyone—not just those who are familiar with reading plans. You want every employee who works in your office building (and even visitors) to be able to easily find the fire escape routes on their own if something happens inside that needs immediate evacuation outside onto one of these routes.

Every Second Counts

Creating a fire escape plan is an essential part of every office, but it's not enough to just have a plan in place. You need to make sure your employees are familiar with the plan and can act swiftly if they ever need to get out in an emergency.

Fire escapes should be clearly marked, whether by signs or other means so that everyone knows where they lead and what lies beyond them. You'll also want to keep your fire escape plans posted on common areas for easy access and visibility for all staff members. The plan should be easy for everyone in the office—including non-English speakers—to understand, including any special instructions for those who may have mobility issues or disabilities that affect their ability to exit quickly (elderly or disabled individuals).

We hope that you’ll be prepared for the worst-case scenario if it ever happens to you! 

We also hope that this guide helps you develop a plan of action so that when disaster strikes at your workplace or home, everyone can get out safely. When fire does strike your business, give SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati a call! We are happy to help you get your Cincinnati workplace back to normal. 

How Coordination Helps the Insurance Claims Process

9/2/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Northwest and Northeast Cincinnati to the rescue.

What Role Does Coordination Play in the Insurance Claims Process?

When a company experiences a disaster, whether it comes in the form of a powerful storm or a damaging fire, many parties must work together for efficient results. If this doesn't happen, the recovery and cleanup can take longer, cost more and lead to unintended consequences. The insurance process is especially susceptible to these concerns, which is why the insurance adjuster benefits from coordination from all parties. These parties include the restoration services company in Finneytown, OH, and the commercial client.

An Efficient Insurance Claim Process
Professionals seek to provide the best services for their clients, especially during difficult times. An insurance adjuster is no exception. These insurance employees prefer to work with a restoration franchise that shares this commitment. They know that working together benefits their client in numerous ways:

  • A fast and efficient restoration
  • A cleanup that follows IICRC standards
  • Lower claims costs
  • A low loss ratio
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • A restore versus replace mentality

All of this leads to the commercial client getting better service and receiving prompt payment for covered damages and repairs. A proven process and adherence to clear and timely communication are fundamental to success.
Working with one contractor helps simplify the process and comes with important benefits. As a preferred vendor for many insurance carriers in the U.S., SERVPRO has experience in all aspects of disaster mitigation and insurance settlements.

A Proven Restoration Protocol
The aftermath of any disaster presents many unique challenges for a restoration company. With the right training, a reliance on following industry standards and quality equipment, an experienced company is the best bet for a speedy and trouble-free recovery. In this manner, damages can be repaired and a business can resume operations without unnecessary delays.
Both the insurance adjuster and the restoration company are vital to disaster recovery. When these two parties work together, the process saves time and money for all stakeholders.

What You Should Know About Shutters and Storms

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Rolling panels can be easily opened and closed and are durable and come in a variety of styles

High winds that come with storms can cause damage to the exterior of your home in Glendale, OH. Learning more about various types of available shutters can help you decide what panels are right for your home.

What Are Common Types of Panels?

There are a variety of panels that can be installed on the outside of homes. The most common types of panels include, but are not limited to:

  • Plywood
  • Colonial
  • Rolling
  • Accordion
  • Storm panel

What Are the Differences Between the Panels?

Each type of shutter has its own benefits and disadvantages and knowing the differences between the different panels can be useful. The most common types of panels include various differences, such as:

• Plywood is the most inexpensive option but is normally temporary and not a long-term solution
• Colonial panels are one of the most costly options, though these panels can complement the appearance of a home
• Rolling panels can be easily opened and closed and are durable and come in a variety of styles
• Accordion need to be manually opened and closed, though they are relatively inexpensive
• Storm shutters are made to withstand high winds and heavy rains, but they are not meant for daily use

How Do You Know Which One Is Right for Your Home?

Choosing a shutter that will suit your home can be important, especially since an ineffective shutter could leave your home vulnerable to damage that may require the assistance of storm damage professionals to fix. Determining what you would like to spend on the panels can help you narrow down your choices. Once you have a price point, it can also be helpful to decide how you want the panels to function. Finally, you can make sure the panel matches the aesthetic of your home.

The right shutter can help to protect your home from high winds and heavy rains. You can better prepare for a storm by knowing the most common types of panels, the differences between them and how to choose the right shutter.

Steps to Take After a Pipe Break in Your Building

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial water cleanup in Finneytown, OH.

After a Pipe Break in Your Building, What to Do

Damage from a flood can affect a building at any time. Some incidents can create widespread problems and even destroy building materials and belongings. The faster you act following bursting pipes or other problems that cause flooding the better. There are both things you and professionals can do to minimize the damage and restore your Finneytown, OH building and items inside. 

1. Stop the Water Source
The first thing you should do is eliminate the source of water coming into your building. Turning off the main water supply should do this, whether the water damage is from a broken pipe or something else. However, if you cannot safely access the shut-off point, leave it to a professional.

2.  Turn off the Electricity
You should also shut off the power to the building. This will help to reduce the risk of shock or electrocution. Again, only do this if you can safely reach the breaker box in the building. 

3. Call Cleanup Services and Other Professionals Promptly
A qualified plumber can assess and fix broken pipe issues. It is also crucial that you get in touch with a professional water cleanup company as soon as you can. Technicians can arrive on the scene within 24 hours to survey the damage and make a cleanup plan. By not delaying in hiring cleanup professionals, you can avoid secondary damage to your building. This includes mold and mildew buildup on surfaces and furniture. 

4. Contact Your Insurance Company After Bursting Pipes Cause Flooding
Business insurance will not cover all types of water damage. However, your policy should cover issues with the pipes if the damage occurs suddenly and unexpectedly. Your insurance company will coordinate cleanup and restoration efforts with the emergency response company.
Bursting pipes and other plumbing problems can cause flooding in your building. A proper response can help to ensure a fast cleanup and effective rebuild of your facility. 

Common Causes of Solar Panel Damage

8/2/2022 (Permalink)

Solar panel damaged in a home in Wyoming, OH.

Installing solar panels on your Wyoming, OH, home saves energy, but it only works if the panels are properly functioning. Although built to last and be durable, there are common sources of panel damage that may leave your home without the power it needs.

Common Culprits

Below are four main sources of damage to your solar system:

Falling Debris: While you may think of a big branch when it comes to debris damage, it may actually be the smaller debris causing the issue. Leaves, dirt and twigs may create micro-scratches, which cause the panels to absorb less sunlight.
Hail: This weather phenomenon wreaks havoc on all kinds of roofs. It also comes without warning, which means there aren’t many ways to prevent hail damage.
Water: Any seal deterioration creates an opening for water to seep in and cause damage. Its effects result in a short circuity or component damage. Excess water may also lead to roof damage, creating the potential need to contact a water remediation and restoration company.

Prevent Panel Damage
While some things are unavoidable, proper maintenance is key to preventing damage. A key component of that is to ensure they are regularly cleaned. Keeping debris or buildup at bay better ensures the panels’ longevity. There are also solar panel covers available that provide a layer of protection without deterring the panels’ ability to harness sunlight. A final simple step is staying on top of the weather. Even if you can’t keep Mother Nature from unleashing harsh weather, knowing it's coming and inspecting the panels afterward may minimize the extent of the damage.
When you take pride in having your home using renewable energy for power, you want to ensure it lasts. Knowing the common causes of solar panel damage makes it easier to understand potential issues and take measures to prevent them.

Tips for Creating a Fire Escape Strategy

7/23/2022 (Permalink)

Map out escape routes

How to Develop a Fire Escape Plan

Fire safety should be a top priority for all homeowners in Mount Healthy, OH. Despite your best efforts, though, a house fire is always a possibility. It makes good sense to have a strong fire escape plan to help you and your family get out quickly.

Prepare Supplies and Contact Lists
You don't need to stockpile a full survival kit for your emergency safety plan because the main goal is going to be getting out of the house as fast as you can. It is a good idea, however, to have backpacks with some first aid supplies and a list of important numbers stashed near exits. After you call 911 and leave your home, there are several other contacts you need to make:

  • Close friends and family
  • Insurance provider
  • Fire restoration company

Map Out Escape Routes
Put your fire escape plan in writing. Make a map of your home. Survey each room and determine at least two ways to get out of it. The more options you have for escape, the better your plan is going to be.

Practice the Emergency Escape Plan
Your plan may look great on paper, but you don't really know how well it will work until you run through it. A good time to practice is during your scheduled smoke detector test. That way, everyone can hear how the alarms indicating they should vacate the house sound. The first practice session may make children anxious, but the Red Cross offers tips on how to talk to your children about fire safety without instilling unnecessary fear in them.
It may be scary to think about flames destroying your home, but it is a necessary conversation to have with the whole family. Creating a solid fire escape plan can help your whole family get out of the house quickly if they need to do so.

3 Ways a SERVPRO Ready Profile Can Help Your Business

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Having an emergency-ready profile gives you much better chance of fully recovering after any type of disaster.

Three Ways a SERVPRO Ready Profile Can Help Your Business

Having an emergency profile can help minimize damage to your business if a disaster ever strikes. Recent data shows that as many as 50% of businesses go out of business after an unexpected disaster. You can avoid being a statistic by calling your Glendale, OH, SERVPRO representative to help you create a plan in case you ever need it. Here are a few of the advantages of having an Emergency Ready Profile. 

1. Minimizes Business Interruptions
Having an emergency profile will help get your business up and running sooner. Instead of wasting time figuring out who to call and what to do immediately after a flood or other disaster, you can have a plan already in place that can be put into action at a moment's notice. Time is of the essence because every hour you waste is more time for water to do more damage.

2. ERP App
The Emergency Ready Profile app makes it easy to set your business up for success in case of a disaster. The app is used by risk managers, property managers, and owners to create a profile for their business. In the event of water damage, the app can be used to help speed up the response of the mitigation team. By inputting key data such as utility shut-off locations, emergency contacts, and photos of your property, you can give your emergency team a head start on addressing your situation.

3. Chain of Command
Not only will you know exactly who to contact after a disaster, but they will know who you are and have a general layout of your facility. Your emergency restoration and remediation experts will have all of your pertinent information already on file and will not be held up trying to track down the right people.
Having an emergency profile set up before disaster strikes gives you a much better chance of fully recovering after any type of disaster. A good team of professionals can get your business back to its pre-disaster condition in minimal time.