Recent Posts

Protect Yourself From Assignment of Benefits Misconduct in Florida

10/3/2022 (Permalink)

Bay County resident roof damages from storm Residents who have property damages are susceptible to AOB misconduct.

Homeowners who face the chaos and confusion commonplace after storm, fire, and water damage in Bay County look for a restoration company that offers a wide range of services. Many companies, like ours, highlight their ability to help with insurance claims and submissions during this stressful time as a critical service, streamlining the financial aspects of a restoration job.

Working with the customer's insurance company can be a great benefit to a property owner when done ethically. Unfortunately, there is a long history of disaster recovery companies in Florida mishandling the job- an injustice that can result in adverse consequences unintended by a trusting client.

These unscrupulous businesses prey upon the anxiety and fear victims of severe weather, and other emergencies feel as they try to sort out the overwhelming crush of concerns and tasks following major catastrophes. Within the hours and days after a storm or flood, some vendors deliberately arose panic among victims. They follow up exaggerated statements about the devastation with promises to take care of all aspects of damage restoration if only the customer assigns his or her homeowner's insurance payout directly to the company pledging to fix the damage.

This practice is termed Assignment of Benefits or AOB, and has become of great concern in Florida when pursued dishonestly by disaster recovery companies. The problem stems from the unprincipled actions of dishonest and immoral individuals who inflate the cost of restorations and recommend unnecessary repairs to increase the flow of money into their coffers from unsuspecting customers' insurance carriers. Not infrequently, the vendors that demand a customer sign an AOB also perform low-quality work that does not stand the test of time.

Homeowners trade control over the restoration process and direct communication with their insurance agent and company for a potentially false sense of security. The company assigned the benefits makes all the decisions if an insurance company resists paying. Also, the property owner typically agrees in the AOB documents to cooperate if the restoration company files suit against the insurance company. Because of details in Florida's current AOB statute, insurance companies risk paying significant attorneys fees if claims presented are refused or paid at a lower rate, so they sometimes pay to evade the perceived penalty.

The overreaching effect of the AOB practices of some immoral restoration companies is steep increases in premiums and the unavailability of homeowner insurance coverage in areas where weather damage is predictable. High-pressure tactics to sign AOBs, little history of quality restoration in an area, and fear-mongering are signals that a restoration company is part of the problem, and not the solution you seek.

With decades of top-notch restoration experience and a desire to set your mind at ease, our experts at SERVPRO commit to use a clear communication style and transparent dealings with you and your insurance company as we restore the damage.

Lower Levels can be a Spot Most Likely to Collect Flooding That Affects Your Home.

9/13/2022 (Permalink)

Bay County Home Begins Dry Out Process Bay county resident receives help from technicians of Bay County after flooding.

Flood damage? We have the equipment and expertise always available.

When flooding occurs in coastal areas, lower levels in a residence are most likely to experience the most significant volume of pooling water and potential contaminants. As damaging as these circumstances can become, our prompt response can reduce the spread and saturation of this standing water in your Bay County home to other places.  

The damage occurs quickly, causing the need for floor removal in your; choosing the right professionals makes a difference in these steps' efficiency.  As you might expect, our inventory of industry-leading tools plays a role in how we aim to protect area homes and save customers money.  

Some of the Efficient Tools We Use in Flood Recovery Include:  

Submersible Pumps: Extraction, where water exceeds two inches in depth, requires submersible pumps to remove. High-pressure pumps are ideal for water removal, though self-priming trash pumps are often necessary to manage debris in the water. 

Wet Vacuums: When water gets to a more manageable two inches or less in-depth, we can use versatile and portable options like wet vacuums to manage the remaining standing water.  

Containment Barriers: Establishing containment barriers creates drying zones that reduce the spread of floodwater to other areas of the lower level.  

Portable Heaters: The use of portable heaters in the established drying zones can promote a higher temperature on specific surfaces to promote evaporative drying.  

Air Movers: Airflow is vital to eliminating trapped moisture in structural elements and contents. Combined with dehumidifiers, these tools can almost single-handedly manage evaporation.  

Flooding can be challenging for any homeowner. Our team can help with efficient tools and strategies to make it "Like it never even happened." 

Rely on SERVPRO for Expert Flood Damage Remediation After a Storm

9/13/2022 (Permalink)

Bay County Kitchen Undergoes Dry Out Post Storm Bay County SERVPRO team begins drying of kitchen after severe water damage is endured after storm.

The sooner you contact the highly trained professionals at SERVPRO the quicker we can get to work restoring your home and preventing further damage.

Florida residents are no stranger to severe weather events, even as far inland as your Bay County home. With so many large storm systems that rage in from the coastlines, it can often be a difficult thing to predict the severity of a storm that comes and how much damage it can do in its wake. The unfortunate aspect of this unpredictability is the damage that this weather can do to your house, leaving it vulnerable to flooding on top of the structural weaknesses. 

The primary concern with flood damage in your Tallahassee residence is the kind of impact it can have on the structural integrity and far-reaching effects it can have on surfaces like flooring and ceilings. Fighting this kind of situation requires you to move quickly and reach out to certified restoration specialists that can get to work quickly to get rid of the present water and protect your home from further damage as they restore the current concerns. 

While extraction is a priority when our IICRC certified SERVPRO technicians arrive at your home, a greater concern for our restoration specialists is to prevent further external damage. Our team conducts a thorough inspection of all vulnerable points affected by the storm damage and sealing up these areas of penetration with tarps, plywood, and boards to keep further water damage from occurring while the restoration process is underway. 

Extraction is a key component of the restoration plan for our SERVPRO professionals. Using a combination of equipment, water gets quickly pulled from the flooring to thwart penetration through levels of your home and prevent further expenditures for remodeling and reconstruction. For significant volumes of water, truck mounted pumps get used in conjunction with wet-vacs for spot extractions in tighter areas. 

Drying is another critical element to the restoration process, and upon completion, allows for a thorough assessment of structural concerns that require your attention.   

When severe weather leaves you with flooding damage, acting quickly can save the contents of your home from irreparable damage and save your out of pocket expenses as well. Give SERVPRO of Bay County a call whenever you need us at (850) 785-1077

Restore or Replace?

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Ceramic dishes with soot on them There are many things that can be restored after a property fire!

Fires can result in a variety of damages:  damage to structure and contents from the flames, soot staining throughout the property, smoke odor, and even water damages incurred during the extinguishing of the blaze.  Understanding the types of materials that can be remediated and restored, versus those that should be discarded and replaced after a fire has occurred at your home or business, can help you to make better decisions moving forward after this type of disaster strikes.

Restore

Items that are more likely to be able to be restored after a fire include:

  • Items made of glass, ceramic, or porcelain
  • Hardwood items, such as dressers or bureaus
  • Metal, including flatware
  • Certain fabrics, when cleaned appropriately to reduce the possibility of smoke odor setting in
  • If done with specialized techniques and by professionals, such as SERVPRO of Bay County, electronics and paper documents can be restored if not directly affected by flame

Replace

Items that should be discarded after a fire include:

  • Food, including fresh, frozen, and canned items that have been exposed to heat or smoke
  • Medications
  • Fabrics, electronics, or paper goods that are directly affected by flame
  • Cosmetics

Here to help you restore your property, and your life, after fire damage strikes, SERVPRO of Bay County offers 24/7/365 emergency service throughout Panama City, Panama City Beach, and surrounding communities.  To learn more about our service lines, request assistance, or for any other questions, please give us a call: 850-785-1077.  SERVPRO of Bay County: “We’re faster to any size disaster!”

Commercial Water Damage in Panama City Beach?

8/12/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO vehicles parked in front of a large commercial building in Florida Water Damages Don't Wait, and Neither Does Our Team!

For Your Panama City Beach Commercial Property, SERVPRO of Bay County Streamlines Water Restoration with Fast Action and Industrial-Grade Equipment

Many water events could occur within your commercial space that leads to water damage of some sort. It may be a leaky roof, storm damage to windows, faulty appliances, or a burst pipe. However, how you act makes a difference in the overall time and costs involved with the cleanup. Your Panama City Beach business is always in good hands when you contact our friendly team at SERVPRO of Bay County. Rather than leaving the cleanup to your in-house crew, we have the powerful cleaning agents, extractors, and drying equipment to speed up the process for you, AND our team is "Faster to any size disaster."

What is Involved in Water Cleanup and Restoration?

Removing standing water from the equation is imperative with any water incident at your place of business. When called for water damage restoration in Panama City Beach and surrounding areas, our crew arrives quickly to cut back on the severity of the loss. We assess the damage that has occurred within your building, which allows us to formulate a plan with the best next steps. Our equipment allows us to quickly and efficiently pull up standing water, but we suggest having the water supply turned off to lessen the impact until we arrive.

It Seems as Though Water Moved into Other Rooms, Now What?

During a water incident, it is not all that uncommon for the water to migrate. If you had a pipe burst near the kitchen or employee lounge, it might follow the path of least resistance. In some cases, this means traveling along baseboards and into other rooms. This is another reason why professional intervention is critical to ensure you restore your commercial space's interior to preloss condition. We utilize industry leading moisture detection tools track down hidden pockets of water that can bring secondary damage or microbial growth. 

If a substantial amount of water made it behind walls and within cavities, we may need to perform flood cuts or place holes so that water removal and drying can take place. Of course, our staff follows best practices as set forth by the IICRC, and we have skilled technicians ready to handle any controlled demolition or major reconstruction required.

What Can Lingering Moisture Do to The Office Space?

Several problems can arise if you fail to address moisture throughout your commercial building, including:

  • Staining of ceilings, walls, and carpeting
  • Strong, musty odors
  • Warping, cracking, or buckling of flooring
  • Physical deterioration of structural building materials and/or contents
  • Microbial growth, which can cause potential health effects

After water saturates various surfaces and materials, deterioration begins. There may be immediate damages, while others take some time to present themselves. By removing any standing water and going through the motions of moisture detection within the first 48 hours of the water incident, you have a better chance of long-term results and salvaging the majority of your materials and contents. 

Several crucial steps are always part of our water restoration efforts, including:

  • Addressing and controlling relative humidity levels throughout the space
  • Total extraction of all standing water
  • Preventing moisture transfer from the loss zone to unaffected areas
  • Ensuring the condensation does not develop to exacerbate the situation further

What Should I Do Until You Arrive at My Office?

Even with the rapid response that the SERVPRO of Bay County crew is known for, every minute is of the essence and should be utilized as much as possible when addressing water damages. Until the time that we arrive and begin our mitigation process, we suggest you take the following steps:

  • Turn off the water to your unit or the area where the incident is taking place. 
  • Try to open up any nearby doors or windows to the outdoors. This helps to get some of the moisture out with a boost in airflow that improves the evaporation rate.

What Happens with Saturated Paperwork?

Offices are known for having vast filing systems housing essential documents. In some cases, water damage is final when it causes matting or smudging of the ink. SERVPRO does have a variety of specialized techniques that help us to prevent further deterioration from taking place. Some actions that we can try will include:

  • Specialized drying techniques
  • Separating and removing saturated papers from dry paperwork
  • Freezing wet documents to stop the dissolution of ink and disintegration of papers

We take each project we are called to for water damage restoration and tailor a specific plan to your needs. When you have a water incident at your commercial space, you can trust SERVPRO of Bay County to quickly and efficiently get the job done. When disaster strikes, give us a call: 850-785-1077. Our professionally trained team is standing by, and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergencies.

Commercial Property Fire Safety

8/9/2022 (Permalink)

A variety of fire extinguishers in front of a red wall Planning and Preparation are KEY to reduce your risk of fire damage!

One of the most devastating things that can happen to a business owner is to have their commercial property suffer damages.  Especially in the case of fire, there are a variety of measures that can be put in place to limit the amount of damage sustained and/or reduce the risk of a fire even taking place in the workplace.  So, what can you do to not only help ensure the safety of your employees and customers, but also protect your building when it comes to fire?

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are one of the most common, and widely recognized, means of protecting property in case of fire.  It is important to make sure your fire extinguishers are in date, located in easily accessible areas of the building, and are the proper type of extinguisher for the possible materials that could catch fire at your business.  The National Fire Protection Association offers resources defining the different types of fire extinguishers.

Fire Suppression

Depending on the size and type of commercial building you own, a fire suppression system may be required, or recommended, for use.  This system includes strategically located overhead sprinklers that are triggered by high heat.  Additional suppression type systems, including chemical suppression, are available for properties like restaurants and catering halls where a great deal of cooking takes place.

Evacuation Plan

Knowledge is the key to success when it comes to preparation and planning.  Make sure all employees are knowledgeable about the protocols for building evacuation in case of fire, have evacuation routes mapped and displayed, and make sure all emergency exits are labeled.  Consider practicing fire drills on a regular basis, including instruction on where to meet once evacuation has taken place.  Taking a head count after evacuation ensures that all personnel are accounted for: this information can be critical to relay to first responders in the case of a fire emergency.

Even with the best preparation, fire damages can still happen.  When fire disaster strikes your commercial property, know that SERVPRO of Bay County is Here to Help.  Serving the communities of Panama City Beach, Lynn Haven, Mexico Beach, and surrounding areas, our team offers 24 hour a day emergency response to help make your damage "Like it never even happened.  Interested in learning more?  Call Us!  850-785-1077.

Drenched by Your Dishwasher?

8/5/2022 (Permalink)

Kitchen being dried out from a water damage Dishwasher, or other appliance, water damages? SERVPRO of Bay County is here to help!

One of the most common water damage emergencies that SERVPRO of Bay County responds to in homes throughout the community is “drenching by dishwasher.”  Many people start their dishwasher cycle before heading to work, going to bed, or heading out for a day of shopping, and unfortunately, this can allow extreme amounts of water to flow where it shouldn’t before being discovered.  So, what are some of the ways that your dishwasher can lead to disaster?

  • Worn Gaskets – these gaskets can allow small amounts of water to escape at first, and as the wear and tear becomes more severe, a large amount of water can be expelled.
  • Unlevel Dishwasher – an unlevel dishwasher can allow water to pool on one side or the other and leak out below.
  • Broken Door – if the door does not seal properly, water can quickly seep out, or even worse, the door can be complete pushed open during the wash cycle.
  • Supply and/or Line Damage – whether the lines come loose, have cracks or breaks, or begin to dry rot, a damaged supply line can lead to a large amount of water escaping into your property in a very short amount of time.

If your dishwasher, or any other appliance, causes water damage to your home, know that the SERVPRO of Bay County team is Here to Help.  We provide 24 hour a day emergency service and take great pride in providing the highest possible level of customer service when disaster strikes.  To learn more about our offerings, or schedule an appointment, please give our team a call at 850-785-1077.

Preparing Your Property for Wet Weather

8/3/2022 (Permalink)

Chalkboard drawing of a house with rain clouds over it, and hands covering the house Help protect your property from wet weather with preparation!

Residents and business owners throughout Panama City, Lynn Haven, and surrounding communities are no stranger to wet weather.  Especially during the spring and summer months, severe thunderstorms can pop up with little-to-no-notice, producing extreme amounts of rain in a very short period of time.  These wet weather situations can lead to extensive property damage, and this damage can be exacerbated by not having your home or business prepared for rainy weather.  So, what are some steps that you can take to reduce your risk of wet weather damage?

  • Clean out your rain gutters – rain gutters allow water that falls to your roof to drain AWAY from your property. Having clogged gutters can cause water to back up onto the roof and increase the possibility of leaks.  Leaves, twigs, and other yard debris are very common items that should be checked for, and cleaned out, on a regular basis.
  • Maintain your landscaping – overgrown trees and shrubbery can restrict water from flowing to designated drainage areas around your property. This water retention could potentially flood back into your home or business.  Furthermore, in the case of heavy winds, yard debris could become airborne and damage windows, doors, or other structural components.
  • Routinely perform a “check” of your building – The best way to prepare for a property damage disaster is to catch it before it happens. Checking for water staining on ceiling tiles and walls, missing shingles, cracked windows, and a host of other maintenance related issues could potentially prevent a large-scale water damage disaster from taking place.

Equipped, prepared, and here to help throughout Northwest Florida, SERVPRO of Bay County offers 24 hour a day emergency response when a water damage disaster strikes.  To learn more about the services we offer, request assistance, or for any other questions, please give us a call at 850-785-1077.

Practicing Fire Safety with Children

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

Family reviewing a fire evacuation plan Practice fire safety with your children!

Fire safety – both in the sense of preventing a fire from starting and knowing what to do in case of fire – is a very important lesson to begin learning at an early age.  Teaching your children about the dangers of fire, instructing on how to react when a fire does start, and making sure children understand the importance on fire safety is imperative.  So, what specifics can you focus on with your children?  Redcross.org suggests the following:

Prevent your Child from Starting Fires

  • Keep matches, lighters, and other sources of fire ignition out of reach of children. Teach your children that these items are not toys.
  • Monitor children around candles, cooking equipment, and other flame sources. Consider utilizing flameless candles vs. traditional.
  • Instruct your children on the location of fire extinguishers. Make sure they understand how to operate the extinguisher.  Additional information on types of fire extinguishers and their operation can be found here: https://www.SERVPRObaycounty.com/blog/post/248179/fire-smoke-damage-restoration/fire-extinguisher-faqs

Help your Child Survive a Fire

  • Install smoke alarms. Test your smoke alarms monthly and change batteries at least twice a year.  Make sure children understand WHAT the sound of the smoke alarm going off indicates, and how they should respond.
  • Instruct children on how to evacuate in case of fire. This will include determining at least two exits from the building, practicing fire evacuation (at different times of day) regularly, and having a designated meeting spot outside of the structure.
  • Depending on the features of your home, consider investing in specialized fire safety/escape equipment. This may include escape ladders for multiple story homes, or quick release devices for barred windows and doors.
  • Teach your children to STOP, DROP, and ROLL if their clothing should catch on fire.

In the unfortunate event that a fire does occur, and damages the structure or contents of your home, know that SERVPRO of Bay County is Here to Help.  We will work diligently to clean, restore, and repair the damages, making it “Like it never even happened.”  For more information about our services, to request assistance, or to learn more about our team of professionals, please give us a call: 850-785-1077.

Don’t Let Mold Take Hold in Your Business!

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Man cleaning and fogging a commercial property for microbial growth If mold does take hold, trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Bay County to help!

Along with providing Commercial Water, Fire, and Storm Damage Restoration Services, SERVPRO of Bay County is also licensed in the State of Florida to provide Mold Remediation.  Seeing discoloration, smelling a musty odor, or have an air quality test that has determined that microbial growth is present?  We Can Help!  If mold growth has been detected in your Bay County business, our team of highly trained and experienced professionals can provide unique solutions to remediate both your structure and contents.

When addressing the possibility of microbial growth, it is important to understand some basic facts about mold in general:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere: indoors and outdoors.  There is no such thing as completely eliminating mold: mold remediation simply reduces the amount of mold spores present within a structure to a safe level.
  • There are a variety of different kinds of mold spores.  These variations can be detected through air testing, and should be treated accordingly.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your business through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on one of your employees or clients.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.

Understanding the basic principles of mold and mold remediation will allow you to make a well-informed decision for your property.  SERVPRO of Bay County’s mold remediation specialists are available to help you assess your property and plan for a solution.  To learn more about our services, or schedule an appointment, please give us a call at 850-785-1077.