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Faster to your Ellis County Water Damage Event

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of House Flood SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Ellis County.

Flooding and water emergencies can happen at any time -- they don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian is ready to respond to your water emergency 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

When you have a flood or water leak, water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. It is imperative to have a water mitigation specialist, such as SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian, arrive quickly and start the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize damage and cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian 972-935-0827

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. We are located in the heart of Ellis County, where we can reach your emergency in Waxahachie, Midlothian, Red Oak, Glenn Heights, Ennis, Corsicana, or any other Ellis County city within an hour. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Certifications

ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician

ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program

IICRC Certified Firm

RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation

WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician

Does Your Waxahachie Home Have A Mold Problem?

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • 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.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 972-937-1494

We Are Cleaning Professionals

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Servpro Logo - Faster to Any Disaster We appreciate the opportunity to provide complementary vehicle disinfection to our First Responders

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, be assured that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

We are receiving calls daily from concerned business owners who want to make sure they are providing a safe environment for their workers and their customers. We are ready to respond quickly.

Specialized Training

We clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we go beyond the scope of daily work performed by regular janitorial staff.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces. These may include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends the use of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian, 972-937-1494

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

IICRC Certified Firm

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Call us for your next cleanup and restoration project. 972-937-1494

Can I Dry My Home Flood Myself?

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Poster - Our Response Time Our fast response time can save our customers from unneeded worry and potential secondary damage.

My bathroom has flooded! Can I clean it up myself?

Flood waters in the home often originate from plumbing in bathrooms (a broken pipe, clogged toilet, leaky shower enclosure) or kitchen areas (leak under sinks, dishwasher overflows, drain backup). When this happens, It might be tempting to mop the water up and put a fan or two on the wet area until it appears to be dry. No big deal, right? No - this approach can lead to more problems down the road. 

You should always contact a professional, such as those at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian and SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak  to assist in the cleanup of a residential flood - to protect your family's health and to prevent further damage to your home. The professional will assess the quality of the water that flooded your home and the class of the water loss.

There are several questions to ask when a flood has occurred. First, what is the source of the water and what contaminants have been introduced into the flood waters? This will determine the quality of the water and affect many decisions in the drying process. Next, how long has water stood in the area and to what extent have structures and contents become saturated? This will determine the class of the water loss and influence decisions about what can be dried and what will be disposed of. And finally, how will you know when the area is truly dry, not just visibly, but inside walls, under carpets and pads, and throughout materials in the area? This is imperative in preventing further damage through subsequent deterioration and possible mold growth.

This article is limited to the first question above. It explains the importance of understanding the three quality of flood waters and how that determination affects decisions about the drying and cleanup process.

Understanding Quality of Water 

There are three categories of water that can result in a residential flood - for example, from a toilet.

Category 1 (clean water) originates from a sanitary source. It poses no health risk when it comes into contact with skin, is ingested, or is inhaled. In the toilet leak example, if the water comes from the pipe behind the toilet, before the water has entered the toilet tank, it is originally Category 1 water. It is important to note the cleanliness of Category 1 water can deteriorate to Category 2 or 3 when coming into contact with other materials in the environment.

Category 2 (grey water) contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans.

Category 3 ( black water) is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents. Such water may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances. In the toilet example, toilet backflows that originate from beyond the toilet trap, regardless of the visible content or color, is considered category three water.

The category determination will greatly impact the way in which you or a professional team will approach the drying and cleanup process. 

Class of Water Loss 

There are 4 classes of water loss,  depending on the magnitude of damage. 

Class 1 is when only low-porosity and low-permeability materials in the area are affected. This means materials like linoleum, wood floors and fixtures, and tile. 

Class 2 is when the water has affected an entire room or area, or multiple rooms in the house. This includes structures and up to two feet of water seepage up any walls. 

Class 3 is when virtually all of the area has been saturated with the overflowing water. Ceilings, insulation, structures, furniture, cushions, carpeting, and more are affected.

Class 4 is when low-porosity, low-permeability materials like concrete, stone, and hardwood are saturated. Since the water can get caught in hard-to-reach pockets, they evaporate more slowly and require special techniques to dry. 

Category 1 Cleanup Process

If the water is Category 1, then the focus becomes on extracting the water from the flooded area and placing equipment (fans and dehumidifiers) in the area, and monitoring the moisture in the area, until it can be deemed completely dry. Little emphasis needs to be placed on placing barriers between the wet areas/objects and the persons doing the work of drying things out. However, it should be noted that even the cleanest flood waters should be approached with minimal protective wear, such as rubber gloves. Materials that were affected in the flood, such as wooden trim, drywall, cabinets, carpet or other flooring, and furniture, can be dried out and left in the home for continued use. As long as the items were not structurally damaged to a point which would deem them unsalvageable, there is no need to remove them from the home. That is, they do not pose a health risk. 

Category 2 Cleanup Process 

When a home flood involves Category 2 water, the persons entering the flooded area must first take precautions to protect themselves from contaminants while working in the area and handling affected materials. Protective equipment such as rubber boots that can be disinfected and rubber gloves will be worn at all times. They might also choose to wear a face mask and googles if the cleanup process is to the extent that moving contents and other actions might cause splashing of flood waters. In this case decisions will be made about materials and items in the affected area based on how porous they are, whether they were saturated with the flooded water, and whether they can be effectively disinfected and left in place after the drying process. For example, where a carpeted area is affected with category 2 water, the carpet can be cleaned, dried, and disinfected; however, the carpet pad beneath must be removed and disposed of. Other hard surfaces can be cleaned, dried, and disinfected, as well. 

Category 3 Cleanup Process 

Category 3 flood waters pose a high risk of causing illness in persons, so this type of flood requires extreme measures during the cleanup process. This type of flood can be caused by something as common as a clogged toilet over-flowing or a clogged shower drain allowing sewer water to backup into a home. In this case, professional will wear full personal protective equipment. Not only rubber boots that can be disinfected and rubber gloves, but a full disposable body suit that protects skin and clothing from contaminated waters and materials must be worn, as well as a respirator and protective eye googles. They will set up a decontamination area to be used when moving from the contaminated area into the uncontaminated areas of the home. I addition, any porous materials in the area must be removed and disposed of as they will have absorbed pollutants from the contaminated water. That means baseboards and drywall that were saturated with flood waters must be cut out and removed. Carpet and carpet pad must be removed and disposed of. Upholstered furniture that was affected must be disposed of. In other words, an item by item determination will be made as to whether household items can be effectively cleaned and disinfected or if they will be disposed of. Leaving Category 3 contaminated materials or items in the home can pose dangerous health risks to residents. 

Leave the Cleanup to the Professionals 

You can see why it is best practice to leave the cleanup process after a flood to the professionals, such as those at SERVPRO of Waxahachie, Midlothian, Ennis, Red Oak - serving all of Ellis County. Call us at 972-937-1494. We have the training and experience to determine the level of risk involved with flood waters. We have the trained personnel and professional equipment to quickly extract waters and get the drying process complete in the shortest amount of time, saving you money and reducing the risk of complications from an improperly dried home. We strive to truly make it "Like it never even happened."   

Ellis County Smoke and Soot Cleanup

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of  Waxahachie/Midlothian-Ennis/Red Oak will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today –
972-937-1494

There's a New Hero in Town

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Female in blue shirt at desk. Our newest "Hero."

We are excited to welcome Erika Preciado, our new Administrative Assistant, to the family of heroes here at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian. Erika’s main focus will be on project work flow, from First Notice of Loss to Job Completion.

Erika comes to us with eight years experience in the Restoration industry.  She has completed SERVPRO’s Hero-Ready training program. She took and passed SERVPRO’s Crew Training Course; acquired her Water Certification, Fire Certification, and Carpet & Upholstery Certification; and is recognized as a Trained Professional Restorer.

Additionally, she has the Water Damage Restoration Certification from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), Subrogation Certification, and Level I Xactimate Certification.

Erika also brings a vast wealth of experience and knowledge in office procedures and policies that help to keep everyday processes running smoothly. Erica's is the first voice of concern our customers hear when they call in need of restoration services. Erika knows how to reassure the customer and get the assessment process started quickly so that we can begin cleanup and restoration as soon as possible. Her experience helps to make sure safety and quality regulations are up to date and adhered to. Erika’s expertise in these areas and with Office Management tools are invaluable in supporting our efforts to serve the Ellis County community with all of its water damage, fire and smoke damage, and other emergency restoration needs.

When Erika isn't busy being a hero at work she loves spending time with her three beautiful children, ages 3, 6, and 11. Helping them with their homework, reading to them, teaching them writing, or just playing games — quality time with her children is her priority.

Ask Erika why she likes working for SERVPRO, and she will tell you, “I love what I do. Every day I learn something new. I get to talk to new people and experience new things when a customer calls with water damage, fire damage, or some other emergency. At the end of the journey, I am satisfied that my company and the brand I represent helped this customer out.”

We are blessed to have such a talented and  accomplished member joining our team of professional restoration specialists. We will be even more Hero-Ready to meet your restoration needs and to make your property "Like it never even happened."

Preventing fires in your home

3/10/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Ellis County is here to assist your rebuild and restoration needs in the event of a fire. We understand that the best course of action for you is to avoid the fire in the first place. It's appropriate to end this string of fire-related blogs with one that you can act upon now, to make your home a safer place and hopefully avoid any fire damage in the future.

If you have any questions or there is a topic not discussed, your local fire department will also have plenty of resources to use to ensure your home is protected.

To talk about what can be done to prevent fires to your house or residence, it’s, of course, important to get a grasp on what the main causes of fires are. Once we know what might be the source of potential fire, we can then delve into the steps you can take to make these sources safer in your everyday life.

Our experience at SERVPRO of Ellis County definitely echos this source that discusses the common causes of house fires. The ones we run into most often include kitchen/cooking fires, electrical fires, and smoking-related. These are things that we use every day, meaning that many times people become complacent with them. Having a general idea of the common causes of house fires, let’s now take a look at the steps to be taken to avoid them.

Kitchen fires, cooking fires, and grease fires are all frequent culprits of fire damage. There are some basic things you can do to minimize the risks when cooking. First and foremost, never leave your food cooking when unattended. It is tempting to go do something else for 5-10 minutes while you let food cook, but this can have unintended consequences when one stray flame causes a fire that you could have extinguished easily, but how now turned into a full-blown kitchen fire.

Similarly, leaving rags, oven mitts, or anything flammable near the stove or oven only serves as fuel for a potential fire. Be sure to always store these items a safe distance from the heat sources in your kitchen.

Finally, all kitchen appliances that rely on electricity should be unplugged when not in use. While it may be a hassle to plug your coffee machine in first thing every morning, this is much preferable to a fire caused by faulty wiring.

In fact, faulty wiring can cause a fire in every room of your house, not just your kitchen. Electricity is an ingrained part of modern life, and it is not realistic to request you unplug every single device in every room when you leave.

However, there are still some useful tips to help minimize the risk your electrical devices have in your home.

First and foremost, those power cords and surge protectors you use to expand the electrical outlet capacity in your home are a large fire hazard. These should be avoided or used sparingly. Ensure that all electrical wires do not run underneath carpet or rugs, are kept away from water, and any possible heat source. Keep an eye on your electrical devices and their associated cords, if anything seems hotter than is typical unplug the device immediately.

Smoking is the other cause of fires that we see often. Not only does this cause fire, but we frequently have customers wanting us to help them remove the smoke smell from a residence. The easiest way to avoid both of these is to simply smoke outside. The weather may not be the best, but temporary discomfort is much preferable to the long and arduous process of dealing with fire damage.

Your home has a plethora of flammable items that a stray cigarette can quickly ignite. Whether or not you are inside when you choose to smoke, ensure that the cigarette is completely out before disposing of it.

This is a huge cause of smoke-related fires, someone thinking the cigarette is out when there are still embers to ignite other materials. The way to prevent this is to always use an ashtray, and be thorough when putting your cigarette out, to the extent that you can pour water on the cigarette after you are done to make sure that it cannot cause a fire. If you do choose to smoke inside, you should never smoke in your bed, or when you are under blankets of any kind, or near any sources of medical oxygen.

Some of this may seem like common sense, and most of it is not hard to adhere to. The mere fact of the matter is complacency can be a huge determining factor in whether a house is safe from fire damage or not.

The key is to remain diligent, follow this advice and the advice of your local fire department, and have your smoke detector and smoke alarms checked routinely to ensure they are functioning properly.

With all of this in mind, proper preventative techniques can do a lot to prevent a fire that can harm you, your family, and your property.

Written by: Brendan Gillette

Fire Damage Process

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Fires are some of the most sudden and destructive occurrences that can happen to your home or property. It is an unfortunate and stressful time for you and your family, so it is important to discuss the necessary steps to remediating your fire damage and getting your life back on track in the fastest and most convenient manner for you.

A fire damage in your home, much like a water damage, could be from a number of causes. There could be an electrical fire caused by faulty outlets, a kitchen or grease fire caused by accidents when cooking, or could be the result of lightning striking your home.

As there are a number of causes, there could potentially be a number of ways we go about your remediation.

First it is important to outline how the fire process differs from the water mitigation process. When you have a fire in your home, please do not call us first! Call 911 and have your local fire department come to take care of the problem. When that is complete is when we can begin our mitigation work.

The fire department, depending on the severity of the fire, will be the ones who determine when a mitigation company can enter the property. It is fine to call us and give us your information so we can prepare, but we cannot come out to begin your scope until the fire department clears the area as safe.

Now that we have been given permission to enter the building, our work operates a little differently than water mitigation jobs. Whereas we can usually get moisture readings and begin mitigation the same day, fire damages are typically a slightly slower process.

It is assumed in a water damage that your house is fine, and whatever work we do inside will be restoring that house. Fire damages aren’t quite so simple.

Adjusters may need to come inspect the property to deem whether or not the structure is salvageable or not. Similarly, a lot of items that were affected by the fire will be either deemed salvageable or unsalvageable, and your adjuster may want us to come up with that list before we continue work. This process of doing inventory and inspecting every one of your possessions is to determine what we can clean and what we cannot clean is the first important step to getting your restored to pre-accident condition.

Once we understand what can be cleaned, and what will need to be replaced, the next step of the process is called a pack out. This is essentially moving your items that will be cleaned to our safe storage facility so that we can best clean them. This happens for two reasons.

First, we oftentimes need to use an ozone machine to get the entirety of the smoke odor out of your items.

Second, the floors, walls, and ceilings of your house are more than likely also affected by smoke odor. This means if we can your dresser and leave it in your room, the smoke odor will permeate back into the item leaving you in the same situation. It is also easiest to do all of the surface cleanings; your walls and ceilings, as well as carpet and duct cleaning while the areas are completely empty of other items.

After our extensive and exhaustive cleaning is finished, ensuring all of your items are restored to pre-fire condition, the final step before we can put everything back in your house is repairing or replacing any damaged parts of your home.

Whether drywall and ceiling have been burnt during the fire, or your vent hood in the kitchen needs replaced, we are here to help and have a number of professional contractors who specialize in restoration work that can make your home "Like it never even happened."

The final step, once all of this is complete, is to do a pack back. We return your items, clothing, furniture, and place everything back in your home like it was prior to the fire.

We understand this is a trying time. We will work in conjunction with your insurance to ensure that the fire that uplifted your life is in the past and you can move forward in your newly restored home.

Written by: Brendan Gillette

Fire Damages and Insurance

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

There are many different types of coverage you may have related to your fire damage, and understanding this now and selecting the right insurance plan could save you time and money in the future.

Often people are unaware of their insurance plan, coverage, details, and are mistakenly convinced that the entirety of their fire damage will be covered. What this results in is a large bill to you, and quite the headache if you don’t understand the inclusions and limits of your policy.

This needs to be prefaced with the following: we do not benefit from you increasing/decreasing insurance coverage at all. We are not here to sell you more insurance coverage or scare you into thinking you will not be covered. Every insurance and every policy is different. We are just going to be covering the basics to give you a better understanding of where you may fall, and from there you can determine if your coverage is enough, too much, or too little.

First, we have renters insurance. This insurance is for apartments or rental homes where your items may be affected but you are not the owner or insured for the actual residence itself. Your renter's insurance policy ought to cover fires under the “covered perils” section. There will be a few different coverages in rental insurance with limits and deductibles, so it is important to understand what these are.

Personal property coverage will cover all of your items damaged/destroyed during a fire, up to a certain limit. These may include a deductible that means you have a responsibility for a certain portion of the costs before the policy begins paying for damages.

Loss-of-use coverage is something that will cover any additional expenses that result because you can no longer live in the property you were renting. Not every policy includes loss-of-use coverage, so it is important to check if yours does. This covers hotel costs if necessary.

Another common form of insurance that covers fire damages is homeowners insurance. Fire is one of the named perils that is covered. Generally, this will include dwelling coverage and personal property coverage. Dwelling coverage will pay for the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home. This, along with similar personal property coverage from rental insurance, usually have a limit that is the maximum amount the insurance will pay.

You can look for other fire specific insurance coverages if you are worried that your limit is not high enough to completely cover the cost of fire damages.

Another type of coverage that may or may not appear on your homeowner's insurance is Additional Living Expenses. This, similar to loss-of-use, is for any food, hotel costs, and other expenses that are incurred when you cannot stay in your home.

Other things that often do not appear in your homeowners insurance include coverage if the home was vacant for more than 30 days prior to the fire, arson, when a fire is deliberately started by a person, is not covered by general homeowners insurance, and fires that damage things such as your car, detached sheds, and other property located outside your home would also not be covered. You can look into additional coverage for these items as needed.

There is never a good time for a fire to strike. We at SERVPRO of Ellis County understand that when you are dealing with fire damage, there are seemingly hundreds of pertinent things that must be done to get your house back to pre-fire condition.

One thing you can do is read up on your homeowner's or renter’s insurance, look for a section specifically covering fire, and learn what your policy details are. You are looking for limits, deductibles, possible exceptions, and anything else that may be pertinent. Knowing how your insurance will be handling your fire claim can save a lot of time and confusion in the future.

If you want to read more about homeowners insurance, you can do so here or for more information on fire coverage beyond homeowners insurance.

Written by: Brendan Gillette