Recent Posts

Big Congratulations to Shantae Ah Sing!

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

woman holding her IICRC certificate Congratulations Shantae on your achievement!

Our SERVPRO franchises always endeavor to provide the highest quality service available in the water, fire, mold and asbestos mitigation industry. We also tackle those tough jobs that needs to be done such as bio-hazard and trauma events. 

This is why the company encourages our staff to participate in ongoing training. Speaking of which, we would like to congratulate Shantae Ah Sing, our File Coordinator, for acquiring her IICRC Trauma and Crime Scene certification recently.

How to Prevent Moisture from Entering your Building and Causing Damage

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

Blurry greyscale photo of rainy weather and buildings through a water splashed window with the words Rain Damage? in green. Rain Damage Can Occur Without Warning. Preventative Measures Can Make a Big Difference in Keeping the Water Outside.

Rain and flooding from a major storm in Jackson County can result in costly damage to the interior and exterior of your business. In order to protect your business, it can be valuable to know how to prevent moisture from entering your building and causing damage.


1. Create a Physical Barrier

In order to decrease the likelihood of water and mold damage to your building, it can be helpful to put a barrier between your building and the elements. A building envelope acts as a water-resistant cover and protects your business from strong winds and heavy rains. In order for the envelope to be of use, it’s often important to make sure the envelope is securely placed around your building before a storm hits.

2. Inspect Your Building Before the Storm

Rain damage can occur seemingly without warning, and it may be necessary to contact storm restoration experts to fix the damage. However, it’s often preferable to prevent damage from occurring in the first place. By inspecting your building before a storm, you are likely to notice if there are any loose shingles, small holes or other areas where water may be able to enter your building. Inspecting the building frequently will allow you to make the necessary changes that can help to prepare your property for a disaster.

3. Clear and Reposition Gutters

If your property’s gutters are clogged or are positioned too closely to your business, the likelihood of water damage and mold growth increases. In order to avoid black mold growth and other issues related to water damage, it can be useful to clear your business’s gutters before a storm. Moving your gutters to ensure the flow of water is not directed at your building’s foundation can also be helpful.

Though storms have the potential to cause major issues for a business, preventing moisture from entering the building can make damage less likely to occur. By creating a physical barrier, inspecting your property before a storm and clearing and repositioning your building’s gutters, you can help to keep your business safe from rain damage.

What Happens After a Home or Business Fire?

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

Firefighters facing a smoking Give SERVPRO a Call if You Experience a Home or Business Fire Damage Event

What Happens After a Home Fire?

If you have never had a fire incidence in your business or home, it is important to be repaired because no one is immune from it. Fire in home or fire in business can be caused by a variety of things, which include the utility room, among many other causes. The problem is not whether there was a fire in business or fire in home, but how to recover from commercial fire damage. Many business or homes have been destroyed by fire damage, not because fire suppression did not take place, but because the owners did not know what to do after the fire.

What happens after a fire in home or fire in business?

The most common thing that takes place after a fire in home or fire in business is the alarm, which notifies everyone in the building that there is fire. If for good luck the house is fitted with modern firefighting tools such as fire sprinkler system, it could help in the fire suppression effort and reduce the extent of fire damage.

The firefighter's department would also respond promptly to help put off the fire. Their work is vigorous and would cause damage such as breaking through doors and windows to access the fire areas. Water will also be pumped into the building, causing floods all over the floor.

What next after fire department effort

After the fire has been put off, it is when you will realize the extent of the fire damage and that caused by the firefighters. Fire damage, Soot damage, the smoke damage, smoke smell and water damage are evident. Fire damage restoration effort must begin immediately, or more damage could occur. You must look for a competent and reliable fire restoration company to undertake this exercise. It is not something that you can handle with family members or your business staff members.

Professional fire damage restoration

Once the fire has been put off, you must not wait for long before starting to put things in order. Using a good fire restoration company, you will be able to get professionals who are trained and experienced in handling fire cleanup services. They first begin by assessing the level of commercial fire damage. They board up the windows and doors that had broken by the firefighters. The importance of boarding up is to keep off intruders who could access and steal your items. Professional commercial fire restoration ensures effective board up services.

What to expect from the professional fire restoration company

If you hire a professional commercial fire damage restoration company, you can be assured of their services. These professionals use a plan to do the fire cleanup and prevent further damage that could be caused by water or the restoration process. All the items that could be repaired are salvaged and taken to their facility for specialized repair. Other items that require cleaning such as carpets could also be taken up for proper fire cleanup.

Flood water is drained from the rooms and soot damage, and smoke damage is handled effectively. Commercial fire damage lead to soot damage that results from the burning items, which cause ash and dust on the walls and vents. It has to be cleaned up to remove the dust and ash, which will allow for the repainting of the walls. You will also need to clean up smoke damage because the smoke smell is absorbed in all the porous items in the building. This smoke smell is cleaned up through deodorization and other methods.

The importance of using professional fire cleanup services

Hiring professional commercial fire damage restoration is essential because it ensures effective removal of soot damage, smoke smell, smoke damage, board up services and fire damage restoration. Finding the right fire restoration company would ensure a speedy restoration and allow you to go back to your normal life. It is important to seek the help of professionals in matters that you cannot handle on your own such as commercial fire damage because it could save you time and money.
Visit https://www.SERVPROmedfordashland.com/ or call (541) 773-3740 for more information on fire damage.

Changes in General Liability Insurance Regarding Sick Buildings

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

Meme of insurance document with the words above saying "Are You Covered." Contact your insurance company and discuss the coming changes when submitting mold claims.

Be Aware Of The Changes In General Liability Coverage And Terms Often Used To Exclude Mold Claims.

An increase in mold insurance claims and litigation has led to changes in most commercial general liability policies over the years. Primarily, these changes have been instituted to reduce premiums and eliminate most mold coverage. Typically, these issues are grouped in with sick structure exposures, a term used to describe normal business risks and contractor responsibility. As a commercial operator, you should be aware of the changes in general liability coverage, and terms often used to exclude mold claims.

1. Pollution Exclusion

Most insurers will view a mold claim as an environmental or toxic tort claim, meaning that mold falls under the pollution exclusion. While there are arguments to be made about the validity of mold as a pollutant under the standard definitions, there is currently no dissenting or judicial opinion as to the applicability of the exclusion for the claims.

2. Business Risk

Many mold insurance claims are rejected because they are deemed a business risk issue, meaning that the fungus is a result of poor quality or craftsmanship. These exclusions lay the blame on property owners or contractors, and stipulate that the responsibility for repair is theirs.

3. Fungi or Bacteria Exclusion Endorsement

The Fungi or Bacteria Exclusion Endorsement is an amendment to many commercial general liability policies. This endorsement excludes the costs associated with mold cleanup and remediation. It also eliminates personal injury.

4. Limited Fungi and Bacteria Coverage Endorsement

While most policy changes have meant bad news for mold claims, the Limited Fungi and Bacteria Coverage Endorsement means that property owners may have some relief from mitigation costs. This endorsement may cover some of the expenses associated with mold remediation in the Jackson County, Oregon area. However, the aggregate limit is likely lower than previously offered.

Before submitting mold insurance claims, review your policy and take note of any of the above changes. While insurers are looking for ways to reduce exposure to fungi and bacteria demands, there may still be endorsements that can help. Reach out to your insurance company and discuss the coming changes and your concerns.

Some Common Sense Tips to Stay Safe During a Flooding Event

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

Deep flooding on apartment complex sidewalk next to river Don't Take Chances During a Flood! Turn Around and Don't Drown!

Failing to evacuate flooded areas, entering flood waters, or remaining after a flood has passed can result in injury or death. Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Floods may:

  • Result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges, and overflows of dams and other water systems.
  • Develop slowly or quickly - flash floods can come with no warning.
  • Cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A FLOOD WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don't Drown!
    • Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.
  • Determine how best to protect yourself based on the type of flooding.
    • Evacuate if told to do so.
    • Move to higher ground or a higher floor.
    • Stay where you are.

HOW TO SAY SAFE WHEN A FLOOD THREATENS

(Prepare NOW)

  • Know types of flood risk in your area. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for information.

  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.

  • If flash flooding is a risk in your location, then monitor potential signs, such as heavy rain.

  • Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.

  • Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately, or if services are cut off. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets. Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.

  • Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect and can protect the life you've built. Homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

  • Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.

  • Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. De-clutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.

(Survive DURING)

  • Depending on where you are, and the impact and the warning time of flooding, go to the safe location that you previously identified.
  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown!
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water. Fast-moving water can wash bridges away without warning.
  • If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, then stay inside. If water is rising inside the vehicle, then seek refuge on the roof.
  • If trapped in a building, then go to its highest level. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising floodwater. Go on the roof only if necessary. Once there, signal for help.

(Be Safe AFTER)

  • Listen to authorities for information and instructions. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Avoid driving, except in emergencies.
  • Snakes and other animals may be in your house. Wear heavy gloves and boots during clean up.
  • Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in floodwater, which can contain dangerous debris and be contaminated. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery ONLY outdoors and away from windows.

Is Mold Covered Under Insurance?

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

Corner walls and floor covered with mold Does Your Homeowners or Renters Insurance Policy Cover Mold Remediation?

Mold remediation covered under insurance can alleviate much stress associated with the fungus. However, you must understand your insurance policy fully to receive compensation for mold damage. If you have mold growing somewhere in your home, you may not have to pay to remove and repair the damaged areas. However, not all instances of mold come as part of your policy. Learn when mold covered under insurance is partially or fully your responsibility below. Also, find out what to do about it if you do or do not have the proper coverage.

Does Homeowner's Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

Some homeowner’s insurance does cover mold. However, the mold covered under insurance must fall under covered peril. The language of your policy includes the conditions qualifying for a covered peril. As long as the specific thing causing the mold is a peril on your plan, you have coverage. Examples of peril include water damage resulting from accidents, or other factors. Some claims handle the removal of the mold, as well as reimburse you for any property damage.

Keep in mind, insurance companies limit the amount of coverage they offer so that additional coverage may cost a lot more. Again, it all depends on your insurance policy stipulations. There are also different types of claims to consider depending on your status as an owner with tenants or the owner or renting party.

First Party Coverage Claims

When you have mold in your home and make a claim with your insurance company, it’s known as a first-party property claim. You must be the policyholder to receive insurance coverage for the claim.

Third Party Coverage Claims

If you rent a home or apartment and your tenants file an insurance claim for mold, this falls under the third-party claim.

Tips for Dealing with Mold Damage

Whether insurance covers the mold in your home, you must address it as soon as possible. Allowing it to grow can lead to health problems, such as respiratory issues, throat irritation, and others. Mold thrives in moist areas. If your home has vulnerabilities to water leaks, you must address the incident quickly. Doing so can mitigate some of the health risks and property damage brought on by mold.

How to File a Claim for Mold

Each insurer has its own set of policies, but the general order to file a mold claim is as follows:

  1. Call your insurance company and set up an appointment with an adjuster.
  2. Try to dry the impacted area with fans, open windows, and other means of removing excess moisture. Avoid cleaning or removing mold because the adjuster must first assess the damage.
  3. Take pictures of the damaged areas.
  4. Talk to your agent about mold coverage limits.

In most cases, the homeowner must prove the mold is a result of a water damage claim resulting from burst pipes or some other event. Even if your policy covers your mold event, it may only cover a certain amount.

Without Proper Coverage

To get mold covered under insurance, you need qualifying circumstances. Your insurance company cannot remove or repair mold damage due to your lack of upkeep. For instance, failing to fix a minor leak that becomes a significant leak does not qualify you for mold coverage.

Other examples include mold resulting from:

  • Long-term leaks
  • Long-term moisture
  • Construction defects

Tips for Handling Your Claim

Because insurance companies can make handling your mold problem a significant process, there are a few things to keep in mind before you make a claim.

  • Never offer a guess as to the origins of the mold
  • Do not agree with your insurance company if they suggest the mold has been around for a long time
  • Allow the company to conduct a full investigation before signing off on any paperwork provided by the insurance company

Other Tips for Handling Mold

The best way to handle mold is to prevent its growth at the onset. You can limit mold growth by doing the following:

  • Use air humidifiers and air conditioners to keep air moisture between 30 percent and 60 percent
  • Do not place carpets or rugs in damp areas such as basements
  • Fix small leaks immediately
  • Inspect faucet fixtures and nozzles under sinks and toilets to check for leaks

There are several measures you can take to decrease the chances of mold growth. It is especially important in humid states where moisture collects easily in different parts of the home.

Do you need more information about dealing with mold damage or mold remediation? Our trained mold mitigation specialists at SERVPRO of Medford/Ashland offer 24-hour emergency services. Using the most advanced technology, our team keeps the mold from causing any further damage. Failure to act immediately can result in the denial of your claim, call us today at (541) 773-3740 in order to avoid these problems.

Become Informed about FEMA's Various Types of Assistance

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Snapshot of FEMA Website Download the FEMA app for free

If you have suffered damages from a storm, then you need to be aware of FEMA. Likewise, this is a resource everyone in Southern Oregon should at least be aware of when a storm is on the way. It is the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and it provides assistance to people who's homes were damages after a natural disaster. The agency provides other types of support as well, including:

  • Emergency assistance
  • Financial assistance
  • Miscellaneous support

If you are going to take advantage of this resource, you need to understand what kind of support you can receive from them.

Emergency Assistance

When the flood waters are on the rise, you should not expect immediate help from the agency. The agency focuses on providing assistance when flooding is over, but they still can help you in the form of resources and partners. The agency has a mobile app while can provide information about emergency shelters and evacuation guidelines in your local area. If you are in need of immediate help, you should call 911 instead or your local emergency management agency. FEMA partners with certain emergency relief companies, and may be able to help you receive the support you need.

After the Storm

When the disaster is over, this is the time when The Federal Emergency Management Agency can really provide you with support. After you apply, an inspector will evaluate how severe the damage you suffered is. This should never be a substitute to your own insurance coverage, but rather a resource you use in addition to it. Along with helping you recover financially, the agency can provide medical and dental services, as well as covering funeral costs. FEMA cannot take care of all storm reparations, so it might be beneficial to research a private reconstruction company too. With the right help, you can repair and move on from any disaster that affected you.

SERVPRO of Medford/Ashland is one such company with all of the expertise and equipment needed to recover from a major flooding or natural disaster event. We suggest that you contact us in order to have a complimentary Emergency Readiness Plan (ERP) prepared and on hand just in case you ever experience the type of event where it will come in very handy. For more information, call us at: (541) 773-3740.

How To Minimize Sewage Damage Before Help Arrives

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Bathroom toilet and bath showing large amount of backed up sewage Call Professionals When a Backed Up Sewer Happens!

A sewer backup in the home can be considered an emergency if the contaminated water has the chance to spread out onto your belongings or soak into the flooring or carpet. This type of water likely contains various bacteria and viruses that can pose a danger to you and your family members if ingested or touched. There are some things you can do to minimize damages before calling a professional sewer cleanup and remediation crew to fully decontaminate the area and make it safe for you to use again.

Cleanup Process

Protective Clothing: Put on protective clothing including rubber gloves, boots, and eye-wear before attempting any sewer cleanup.

Turn Off Electricity: If the electricity distribution panel is nearby and above water, shut it off using a dry wooden stick.

Turn Off Water: Do not use water in the home, and to ensure no one accidentally turns a faucet on, it might be good to turn the water off to the whole house.

Turn Off Air Conditioning: This is to make sure no contaminated dust can circulate around the house and contaminate the whole HVAC system.
Remove Clean Items: Take all un-contaminated items away from the area.

Add Bleach to Standing Water: Feel free to add bleach to any standing water to decrease the level of contamination.

Call for Advice: If your home uses the public sewer, call the sewage department for advice, or the local health department if you have a septic system.

Call Insurance: Let your insurance company know what has happened immediately if you intend on filing a claim to cover repairs.

Call a Professional Restoration Company: Working with the professionals can help give you peace of mind that the sewer cleanup job is thorough, while saving you time and effort. The professionals can also repair structural damage, clean all of your contaminated belongings, and remove any lingering odors.

Sewer backups can result from clogged plumbing in the home, municipal issues, local flooding events, or even a flooded toilet. It’s always recommended in Jackson County to play it safe when it comes to sewage messes and take extra precautions for your health by wearing protective gear, and/or working with a water damage restoration company such as SERVPRO of Medford/Ashland to put your home back to normal.

Collect, Organize and Protect Essential Records and Documents Before An Emergency Happens

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

File folders in a plastic container labeled with vital document categories SERVPRO of Medford/Ashland is always here to help. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days per week for quick response.

Family Preparedness

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

The Basics

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

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

A current care plan for a child with special needs.

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

Quick Tips

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

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

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

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

Can Your Business File A Claim for Smoke Damage with Your Insurance Carrier?

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

Two SERVPRO professionals demonstrating the presence of soot on office wall Fire Damage Cleaning and Restoration is Just One of the Many Services We Provide to "Make it Like it Never Even Happened."

Did your commercial building or the suite next to yours recently have a fire and now you smell smoke or have smoke related damage?  Is smoke damage a covered loss on your commercial insurance policy?  We recommend that you contact your insurance carrier so you can learn more about what you need to know about smoke claims.

Soot Damage and Insurance

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

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

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

SERVPRO of Medford/Ashland is here to help you painlessly deal with the fire damage, the soot damage or the smoke damage. Call us at: 541-773-3740.