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Property Damage Restoration Blog | ServiceMaster of Tacoma - Part 3

Assessing Water Damage at a Manufactured Home

What is a manufactured home?

Mobile home.

Modular home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A manufactured home is constructed in a controlled environment, primarily inside of a manufacturing facility, and therefore not exposed to outside elements like rain, snow, sun, etc. There are two subcategories of manufactured homes: mobile and modular. A mobile home is built, and remains, on a frame with wheels for transporting. A modular home is built on a frame and then transported to a location and placed on a permanent foundation. When it comes to insurance policies, a mobile home policy is written specifically as a mobile home policy, and a modular home can be written as either a standard homeowner policy or a mobile home policy.

Things to consider when you come across a manufactured home damaged by water:

  • Cabinets often are lower grade with stapled joints or vinyl wrapping on cheap lightweight or processed wood. It might be smart to consider replacement as opposed to restoration. 
  • Trim, baseboards, chair rails, etc. can have varying degrees of quality as well. Often, they are made of lightweight wood such as balsa and then wrapped with vinyl, and depending on saturation, will need to be replaced.  
  • Flooring material such as carpet and vinyl are manufactured specifically for mobile and modular homes and are made in 15-foot-wide rolls, whereas the normal width is 12 feet. The benefit is that the extra width eliminates flooring seams. Carpeting is typically lower grade and installed before walls are put in. It’s recommended to remove lower grade carpeting when water damaged. Vinyl flooring is typically a “floating floor”, only adhered around the edge, and is easily removed for drying of the sub-floor.  
  • There are three types of sub-floor that could be used: pressed board, OSB, and plywood. When wet, pressed board subfloors typically swell and become structurally compromised and are likely to require replacement. They also mold easily. OSB sub-floors are stronger and easier to dry. If they have been wet for a long time, they could also become structurally compromised. Lastly, plywood sub-floors are the sturdiest and least vulnerable but are harder to dry.
  • HVAC systems can be any of the following: Normal metal ducts, thin metal ducts, foil faced cardboard, and insulated wire wrapped flex tubing. Typically heating vents are flat on the floor, which means that it is more probable that water found its way into the HVAC system. Manufactured homes often have corrugated or flexible venting that may need to be replaced after it gets wet or contaminated. 
  • The belly, or underbelly, is usually made of a polytype material that is placed under the home between the I-beams and the floor joists. It usually encloses the flooring, ductwork, piping, and insulation. When the underbelly is in good condition, it will act as a barrier, trapping water from water damage that’s incurred inside. This makes it almost always necessary to cut the belly in order to remove any wet insulation and allow trapped water to escape.  
  • Older manufactured homes don’t always have a full range of electrical service or power supply. Typically, they only have 100-123 amps in total. They may or may not have a 220-amp supply. Electrical outlets in HUD homes are not attached to studs in the walls. This means that if the wall is wet, caution needs to be taken when using the outlet because it could easily pull out of the drywall. 
  • Mobile home skirting is difficult to match for replacement panels and should be handled with care. For crawlspace access, look for a skirting panel that has been previously removed or ask the homeowner if they have already might have opened the skirting. Most crawl spaces are not clean and difficult to access.

When assessing water damage at a manufactured home, first note the age and condition of the home, and how this could affect the dry-down techniques and the restoration vs. Replacement factor. Be sure to communicate this with the adjuster.  

Don’t wait to mitigate! You have a better chance of saving money, maintaining customer satisfaction, and an improved loss ratio. 

 Need to get the job started? Contact us to get scheduled.

ServiceMaster’s Taylor R.

Meet this week’s Master of Disaster, Taylor R.!

ServiceMaster’s Jeff F.

Meet this week’s Master of Disaster, Project Manager Jeff!

Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

One thing that is often overlooked in our industry among many others, is an online presence.

This can be anything from your website to social media to search engine optimization (SEO). With an ever-evolving online world, it’s more important now than ever to have an active social media page for your brand. Here are a few simple tips to help you manage your business’s social media accounts and create content that you can be proud to post.

PLATFORMS

There are so many different platforms to choose from, but Facebook is undeniably the most impactful one, with over 1.5 billion daily users. Facebook allows you to set up an online profile, so that prospective customers can learn more about your business and what it stands for. They can read and leave reviews, see your list of services, and interact with your content. They should now be convinced that they want your company to do the job for them, and give you a call to get the job started.

Some other large social media platforms are Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and Pinterest. What’s great about all of these is that they’re free. It’s up to you to determine if these channels are worth investing your time into.

PROFILE

Much like a website, your profile should contain important information where it can be found easily, such as your phone number, location, and services. Other things to consider adding are company history, your value proposition, and photos. If you’re setting up your profile for the first, time, Facebook makes it really easy to add a lot of relevant information about your company by taking you step by step.

Your profile picture should simply be your logo. The cover image is where you can add in something more personal, such as a company photo or a short introduction video. You could use this as a tool to highlight some of your services, an upcoming event, etc.

ServiceMaster of Tacoma Business Facebook Page

CONTENT

This is your opportunity to show your customer what you’re all about. They don’t want to see your sales-pitch; they want to see your values.

Every post should come with an image or video. The unfortunate truth is that because of technology and social media, our attention spans are incredibly limited. If you don’t catch your audience’s attention with the first 1-2 seconds, they’re going to scroll past what you have to say. Don’t have an image to post? That’s ok, because you can make one. Canva.com is a free online design platform that makes it super easy to make clean, eye-catching graphics. When it comes to creating your own graphics, here are a few guidelines to go by:

  • Stick to your color scheme. If your company doesn’t have a set color scheme, it’s time to set one yourself.
  • Fonts. It’s really easy to get carried away with fonts, but keep it clean and stick to a few solid ones that compliment each other, and compliment your logo. Again, your company might have some branding guidelines that dictate the specific fonts you should use.
  • Keep it simple. Catch their attention, but don’t drive them away with confusing and hard to read graphics. Your caption is a great place to include all of the details.

Don’t know where to start? Try sharing good reviews, before and after footage from jobs, employee spotlights, events, and so on.

ServiceMaster of Tacoma Instagram sceenshot

CONSISTENCY

The key to getting and maintaining followers is to post consistently, whatever consistent is for you. A good starting place is 3-4 times a week.

There are a lot of tools out there to help you manage your social media calendar, especially if you have multiple accounts. Here are a few recommended social media management tools.

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In the social media world, trends are constantly changing. Take the time to educate yourself regularly and keep your business’s social media game at it’s best. It could be the difference between someone choosing you over a competitor!

ServiceMaster’s Katie G.

Stepping out from behind the iPhone camera is this week’s Master of Disaster, Katie G.

ServiceMaster’s Michelle M.

Meet this week’s Master of Disaster, Michelle from the A-team!

Spring Cleaning — 5 Things You Probably Wouldn’t Think Of

Believe it or not, spring is only a few weeks away! Although it doesn’t have to be spring for you to deep clean your home, it’s a good excuse. Keeping a clean home goes hand-in-hand with keeping a safe home. Read on for some cleaning tips that you might not have originally thought of.

Flowers in a vase in front of a window.

Dust. Not only is dust unsightly, but collected dust can also be kindling for a home fire. Dust walls, ceilings, shelves, books, fans, etc. When’s the last time you’ve had your air ducts cleaned? Consider hiring a professional to help you rid your home of dust.

Wax & Polish. Give your furniture and home some love, and extend their life! Wax wooden furniture, wax non-wood floors, and polish metal door and window hardware.

Reseal Grout Lines. This could be in your bathroom, kitchen, really anywhere that has tiles. Grout is porous and stains easily, so consider protecting it with a penetrating grout sealer. There are a wide array of DIY articles and videos on the internet if you need step by step directions for the particular are you want to re-grout.

Gutters. Don’t forget about the outside of your home! Pick a sunny day to go out and clean your gutters of leaves and debris. Here’s a simple video from Lowe’s on how to do it yourself. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, or simply don’t have the time, there are plenty of professionals in the area that you can call to get the job done right.

Window Screens and Treatments. Your windows collect a lot more dirt, dust, and grime than you think. Take the time to wash window screens with a water/dish-soap solution and a brush. If you have drapes or curtains, you can most likely wash them (check the labels to be sure). If you have metal or vinyl blinds, you can use a damp cloth with a water/dish-soap solution to wipe down. For wooden blinds, simply use a damp cloth.

Lastly, take the time to check your smoke detectors. Play it safe and change out all the batteries.

During your spring cleaning efforts, you might find some mold. If you do, give us a call at 800-339-5720 to get the remediation process started right away, and keep your home and family safe. Happy cleaning!

ServiceMaster’s Emilie C.

Meet this week’s Master of Disaster, Emilie!

ServiceMaster’s John M.

Meet this week’s Master of Disaster, Scooter! He is celebrating 8 years with ServiceMaster this month.

Hoarding — The 5 Stages and How to Recognize Them

There’s probably been a time when you’re scrolling through the TV channels and you’ve landed on the show “Hoarders”. The TV show features piles of things, garbage, pests, all crammed into someone’s home. What we often don’t see is what triggers hoarding, or what it even is. If you think you have a hoarder in your life, keep in mind that you have to understand what hoarding is before you can even begin to help the hoarder.

Hoarding is a mental disorder, marked by an obsessive desire to acquire a significant amount of possessions. It’s a compulsion and not an addiction.  In most cases, hoarding is triggered by a traumatic life event, such as grief, divorce, abuse, or lack of control. These are people that are looking for self-worth and happiness, and overall have good intentions. Throughout the process, you have to keep the highest level of compassion. While it is important to be patient and compassionate, keep in mind that you are not a therapist. To tackle deeper mental issues, don’t hesitate in contacting a professional.

Each situation ranges in its intensity and type, which is divided into five stages.

Lastly, there are a few safety concerns that you should be prepared to handle. Watch out for human/animal excrement, microbial contamination, chemical waste, needles, and infestation. You should consider wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, booties, coveralls, and masks. There could also be loose flooring. If you’re concerned about the structural integrity of the building, do not enter.

If you come across a hoarding situation that needs to be addressed, don’t hesitate to call ServiceMaster of Tacoma. Our team is trained in packing out hoarding situations and handling it with empathy.