What Is Business Interruption Insurance?
Give SERVPRO a call if you experience commercial water damage.
Imagine your commercial property in St. Louis, MO burning, flooding or being swept away in a tornado. Now, picture the devastation caused by loss of income and business operations during the restoration process. Finally, envision the alternative of being financially stable while your livelihood is being repaired. When your business is closed for an extended period of time, you can rest easier with business interruption insurance.
How Does Business Interruption Insurance Work?
Commercial property insurance typically covers cleaning, repairing and restoring your business assets after a fire or large amount of water damage occurs. Protect yourself further by doing the following:
• Before damage happens, talk to your insurance agent about adding on business interruption insurance. This is not a separate policy, but rather an add-on to your current commercial insurance or part of a policy package. Do not assume you have this type of insurance, and do not wait until after fire or flooding occur to look into this preventative measure.
• After damage occurs, such as from a broken pipe or fire, first call a reputable fire and water restoration company. The experts come to your property, assess the damage and immediately make a plan for cleanup and restoration. Second, call your insurance agent. If the restoration plan is covered by your commercial insurance and entails closing your business for a lengthy period of time, business interruption insurance kicks in.
• Look into the details of your insurance plan. This additional insurance typically covers lost wages, including employee pay, and business operating expenses that occur while the property is closed for reconstruction due to damage.
• Keep the timing in mind. Usually, this insurance takes effect two days after the damage occurs and lasts until the business returns to normal operations. Reopening is likely to occur within thirty days from the time restoration is complete.
When disaster occurs and your business in St. Louis, MO is on hold, your life moves on. The restoration expert helps your business return to preloss condition after flooding or flames, while business interruption insurance helps you remain financially stable during this period. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on commercial water damage.
Tips for Preparing for the Next Big Storm
Hurricanes, tornadoes, or even thunderstorms can cause major damage to your business. Flood water can soak into personal belongings, which can cause mold and destroy electronics. Violent wind can cause debris to break windows or damage roofs. This damage can have long-lasting effects that prevent your St. Louis, MO business from getting back up and running after a natural disaster. However, these tips could help mitigate the damage.
Storm Tip One: Scope Your Area
Making sure that your building is prepared for a storm is one of the best proactive moves that you can make to prevent damage. One way of doing this is surveying your building and its surrounding areas for objects that could cause damage:
• Overgrown tree branches
• Loose roof shingles or tiles
• Unsupported trusses or beams
Keeping maintenance up to date may help the restoration process move along more quickly.
Storm Tip Two: Prepare for the Storm Itself
In addition to flying debris, storms can cause water damage to commercial buildings. Along with causing damage to carpet, walls, and upholstery, flood water can wreak havoc on a company’s electrical system. There are some things you can do to prevent this:
• Back up any crucial data onto an external hard drive or data cloud.
• Unplug all electronic devices and move them onto a higher floor.
• Never enter a flooded building if you suspect there is a live electrical current.
Preventative measures could help to save valuable electronic equipment, along with time spent trying to get your business back to normal.
Storm Tip Three: Call a Professional
After a storm, flood water and debris can make for a disheartening sight. However, flood restoration experts can help to make the clean-up process as quick and painless as possible. They can help you by giving a professional inspection of the damage that the storm has caused, and begin a process of water extraction and dehumidification of your commercial building.
If you experience water damage at your commercial location, call in the experts. Their help, along with the right prevention, can provide a speedy recovery from a storm. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on storm damage.
How You Can Prevent Water Damage in Your Home
There is a popular expression that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and when it comes to preventing the appearance of water in home spaces where it has no place being, no truer words have ever been spoken. Here in St. Louis, MO there are countless examples of homeowners having to hire a water damage repair company to perform cleanup from a broken pipe or a busted hose, yet if you keep an eye out for the signs of a problem by performing routine inspections and periodic maintenance, you can possibly avoid this costly path.
Steps You Can Take To Prevent Water Damage
To help in the prevention of water damage in the home, there are a number of things you should be regularly checking:
• Ventilation systems, heaters and air conditioners
• Whole-house plumbing concerns
• Mold Growth
Water in a home is insidious insomuch as it can sneak into areas you cannot easily detect. A broken pipe cleanup is troublesome enough, but the slow leaks that are hard to spot can lead to damage that could already be quite substantial by the time the problem is finally found.
Check Appliances and Water Fixtures Regularly
You should check your heater and air conditioner twice a year to make sure they are working correctly. You should never see any water coming from these units. Appliances generally cause problems not so much because of the unit itself but rather a broken pipe or hose leading to the unit.
Bathrooms are an obvious location for water leaks because of all the fixtures in that room that use water. If home appliances and fixtures are leaking, mold growth can become a concern.
Things To Remember on a Daily Basis
You should always be on the lookout for any signs of water in home spaces where it does not belong. Even the smallest leak can be contributing to a much bigger problem beneath the surface, yet with some simple, regular maintenance, you can most likely avoid major water damage. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on water damage.
Water and Flood Damage in Northwest St. Louis
It can happen anywhere and at anytime, all is going well and suddenly you notice a drip into your tub or from your kitchen faucet. You think nothing of it and go on about your day. Soon the drip becomes a steady stream and before too long you have a puddle on the floor or water collected in the tub. Usually this is easily rectified with a few towels and some elbow grease. As long as you ensure proper ventilation of the area and allow for drying time you've likely avoided a more serious water damage problem. Luckily many times a small leak can be fixed without outside help.
However what if your leak is unseen, lying in a wall or within your plumbing. This could cause further water damage and would need to be dealt with by a water cleanup professional. These professional companies have the knowledge and proper equipment to deal with water damage and water cleanup in an effective and efficient manner. They will know proven methods to ensure proper air movement and adequate drying times for water in a home.
Once you've determined that professionals are needed to solve your water issue there are many factors to consider. You want to make certain that the company is reliable, trustworthy, and knowledgeable. As an example the following services are those provided by a flood restoration company that services the greater St. Louis Missouri area. What this company offers can serve as a guideline when selecting a company whether you're in Missouri or elsewhere.
The first important step is that you ascertain that they company will provide service to your home. This particular company offers service within a 100 mile radius of downtown St. Louis, MO. This includes a fairly large service area in MO but some companies might not travel that far. Another thing to watch out for is hidden fees. The company may provide service in your area but may charge a fee either in the form of a service fee or a fee for the driver's gas. This would be a question to ask the company you're considering using.
Another thing a company might provide is free estimates. This means that they will give you a price that they think will cover the cost of your repairs. Make sure you know the terms of this estimate. Some questions to consider:
1. Is the estimate only provided over the phone?
2. Is the estimate only provided via an online questionnaire?
3. Is the estimate provided after a technician visits your home to assess the damage?
It is important to ask about the estimate and make sure that you are clear with what it entails.
If caught early and professionally treated by a reputable company utilizing the tips above water and flood damage can be rectified. Professionals will effectively and efficiently restore your home or business! Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on water damage.
A major burden in dealing with any home repair is cost.
It is important to ask about the estimate and make sure that you are clear with what it entails.
Luckily if you have homeowners insurance you can often get a restoration project covered after water in a home or flood damage. This would be something to check on with your insurance company. Homeowners insurance might cover the job but oftentimes specific flood insurance is required. Apartment and condominium dwellers should not despair as renters insurance may cover a water issue as well. This particular company accepts all insurance claims which will provide some financial relief. They will also work with your deductible which can ease some of the financial strain. When working with any company it is important to establish what they'll accept as far as payment is concerned. Also this particular company will bill your insurance company directly thus saving you time.
In addition to free estimates and working with one's insurance, this company also provides discounts for veterans, seniors and law enforcement officers. This could be of great benefit to many people and should be looked for or asked about when researching a company.
Another thing to consider is what services the company provides. For instance this company specializes in the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) sewer backups which means that they know how to deal with the specific sewer system in the region. This company also offers rapid response for flood mitigation. Flood mitigation involves minimizing water exposure to walls, ceilings, floors, and the contents within the area. This company will also deal with broken pipes, perform emergency water extraction done by experienced technicians using professional machinery and will ensure structural drying and will clean, sanitize, and deodorize the area. All of these are important to look for in the company you choose.
When researching a company to use in case of flood damage in a commercial area the steps are similar to that of a residence. You must establish wether or not the company will address an issue of water in a business. Once a company is found they will likely follow these important steps:
- They will first ensure that the work area is safe. This may mean that they will remove hazardous materials and will ensure that there are no electrical cords or live wires in the vicinity.
- The company will find and inspect the source of the problem.
- They will work to keep the affected area well ventilated and dry by increasing the air movement.
- They will look to see if any mold and/or mildew has accumulated. If so steps will be taken to rid the area of mold and/or mildew.
- They will take steps to ensure that mold and/or mildew does not occur in the future.
Another potentially dangerous problem that can occur in a home or with water in a business is the need for sewage mitigation. This is necessary if sewage, sewer water (often called black water) is present. Black water can be dangerous and cause health problems in children and the elderly. If this treatment is needed the black water is extracted, and the area is dried, disinfected and sanitized.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on water damage.
Smoky Smells and How To Get Rid of Them
Give SERVPRO a call if you experience fire damage.
Smoke is both nostalgic and insidious. The benign side of smoke invokes warm memories of campfires and delicious barbeque. When the wafted particles from combustion are unwanted, however, the pernicious odor can linger and cling to almost anything. The difficulty of removing such a stench can be daunting, especially when in the home. That’s why home deodorization is best left to the professionals of St Louis, MO.
Taking Steps To Minimize Cigarette Smoke Odor
Stopping smoky smells from ruining the home begins with preemptive mitigation and ends with cleaning, airing, and replacement. Some actions that can be taken to prevent the need for and the successful implementation of home deodorization are as follows:
• If at all possible, don’t smoke cigarettes inside the home
• If you do smoke, keep cigarettes away from items that easily absorb odors (carpet, drapes, or cushions)
• Clean cigarette smoke from washable surfaces using an appropriate detergent for the item being cleaned
• Enlist the help of a professional with an IICRC
Lessening the Number of Activities That Produce Smoke
A great way to keep smoke from turning your home into a delicious rack of ribs or an ashtray is to decrease the number of activities that produce smoke within the house. Cigarette smoke is the leading cause of unwanted smoke odor, but cooking smells and fires also can be major contributors. Try to refrain from burning meals while cooking and don’t utilize the wood burning fireplace.
Addressing the Smoky Smells
Home deodorization is an unfortunate and sometimes inevitable reality when dealing with smoke. Deodorizing sprays and scents serve only to mask the smoke smell. Your best bet is to thoroughly clean the affected area with soap and water and increase the ventilation in the rooms that have been subject to smoke. When all else fails, call in a cleaning service that specializes in the removal of smoke from home items. Many items and rooms can be completely rid of smoky odor with the right treatment over time. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on fire damage.
You’ll Find Mold in These Six Surprising Places
Give SERVPRO a call if you notice mold growing in your home.
You may think you’ve ferreted out all the mold in your St Louis, MO residence, but the odds are you don’t even know all the places to start looking for mold growth in your home. Mold isn’t just a surface issue; did you know if you have mold on your walls, it’s likely you also have mold behind your walls as well? And not just there. Let’s take a look at six places where you might find mold, as long as you know where to look.
1. Behind your walls. Moldy drywall can leave your entire house smelling musty and can let mold spread unchecked and out of sight.
2. Underneath your carpeting. If moisture gets trapped under your carpet, it’s a perfect space for mold to grow – enclosed, dark, with pockets of wetness for it to feed on. It will also feed on organic matter such as carpet glue and carpet fiber.
3. Inside the wood of your floors. Because mold feeds on organic matter, older wood floors can be ripe for this. Mold on wood happens when wood gets old and begins to soften with frequent water absorption.
4. Under sinks. Drips and leaks can slowly accumulate under sinks until you don’t even think to check in this out-of-the-way place when mold growth can be slow – but once it starts, it’s hard to get rid of.
5. Underneath laminate flooring. Laminate flooring has many of the same problems as carpeting, and once moisture is trapped underneath, mold will happily devour the glue on the laminate.
6. Inside your appliances. Refrigerators and air conditioners are the worst culprits when they can often accumulate condensation that feeds mold. Any appliance that attracts condensation can grow mold, though.
Sometimes, you may not be able to identify mold growth in small spaces or have the tools to check for mold underneath flooring. That’s when a mold remediation specialist can come in handy – to help you get your mold problem under control. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on mold.
3 Ways Professionals Eradicate Smoke Damage
When you think of fire damage, you probably see flames consuming a property, tearing the structure down. However, there is also another large issue in these types of disasters: smoke damage. For this reason, smoke cleaning practices can be imperative in dealing with any fire-damaged property in St Louis, MO. Here are three ways professional restoration experts may tackle this issue.
1. They determine the most effective cleaning method. Different materials call for varied ways of cleaning. For light damage, dry cleaning is often best. For heavier damage, wet cleaning may be required. Although wet cleaning is typically the stronger method of cleaning, it can’t be used for all materials. For everything else, spray-and-wipe cleaning and foam cleaning help. Additionally, there is abrasive smoke cleaning, which involves strongly scrubbing, and immersion cleaning, which involves soaking items in solution.
2. They move damaged items. Moving contents to a smoke-free location can help eliminate odor, giving it a chance to air out in a fresh environment. It can also protect the items from further damage that could occur if they are left in a fire-destroyed building. Finally, it clears space so building restoration can happen quicker.
3. They improve air quality. Generally, the main issue with smoke odor damage is the low quality of air after a fire. The smoke lingers, creating an unpleasant smell. One way to combat this is to change the HVAC filter, but professionals often use an air filtration device, ozone machine, or thermal fogger to improve the air. One thing you shouldn’t do is turn on any ceiling fans, because their wiring could be ruined.
The above practices of smoke cleaning can help move the restoration process along, eliminating stress. Damage from fire doesn’t have to be debilitating if the correct steps are taken to restore a building’s contents. By relying on professionals to correctly clean and move objects and improve the air quality, you can be on your way toward recovery. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
Handling a Fire Loss in St. Louis, MO
Burned Kitchen that needed cleaning in St. Louis
A person can experience the after effects of a house fire anywhere at anytime.
It can be unsettlingly and disruptive. Men, women, and children can be displaced because of fire damage and poor air quality. It can be a remarkably confusing time. However, a person only has to follow five easy steps to gain confidence when handling a fire loss in St. Louis, MO.
Step #1: Where to live?
A person must find a safe place to stay directly after a fire. Soot damage, water damage from the fire, smoke damage, and bad air quality can make a house dangerous to enter after a fire has occurred. A person should not eat or drink anything that was involved in a house fire.
Many people decide to stay in a hotel or motel during the fire cleanup, but this can become expensive. St. Louis, MO offers organizations that will provide aid to families affected by fire damage to their home. These organizations include:
- American Red Cross 10195 Corporate Square Dr
- Salvation Army
- St. Louis City Department of Health-314-612-5100
- Various Community Groups
- Local Churches
- City Emergency Services Office
- United Way
In this step, it is also important for a person to remember to take care of him or herself and the family around them. Plenty of rest and a sense of security are critical to establish as soon as possible.
Do not go back into the house until the fire department has said it is safe. The fire department will also make sure the utilities are safe to use. A homeowner should not try to turn the utilities back on after a fire until the fire department says it is okay.
Step #2: Insurance/Mortgage Company
The insurance provider may be beneficial after a fire. A person should ask the insurance company what to do first. The insurance company can guide a homeowner through all of the details in returning the home to regular. The insurance company can also tell an owner whether the cost of a hotel is covered by the insurance policy.
The State of Missouri requires insurance policies to cover fire loss and other natural disasters such as windstorms and hail. Many homeowner's policies in Missouri also include three different types of damage:
- loss of home
- loss of the items inside the house damaged by water from the fire, smoke, or soot
- cost of a temporary place to live while the home is being fixed
The Missouri Department of Insurance advises hiring a Public Adjuster which is a person licensed by the state to help a homeowner with the claim process and to make sure the compensation is proper for the amount of damage.
Another important phone call is to the mortgage company or landlord of the property. It is also important to keep all the receipts for anything associated with the fire because the receipts may be required by the insurance company or for tax returns. The IRS may offer unique benefits for individuals involved in a house fire.
Step #3: Handling the damage
This measure is the hardest step emotionally. A person has to go back to the house and assess all of the damage caused by fire, smoke, and soot. A homeowner should hire a trustworthy company that has experts in restoring items after a fire. These businesses can be found online or in a phone book. The insurance company may even suggest a company or two. Asking for an estimated cost of the restoration should be done as soon as possible. This estimate should be in writing.
The company should take care of numerous items when dealing with the fire cleanup. These elements are as follows:
- Assess the damage to the house. This assessment includes the extent of smoke, fire, and water damage from the fire. Develop a plan of action from this provided information.
- Take immediate measures to secure the home and prevent further damage.
- Remove water and thoroughly dry the house.
- Remove all smoke damage and soot damage from all surfaces inside the home.
- Remove all odors from the house by cleaning and sanitizing all items.
- Restore the home to pre-fire condition which may include repairs, replacements, or total reconstruction.
It is important also to remember the house and items in the house may be a total loss. This term means nothing will be salvaged from the fire.
Step #4: Replacing Documents
Many people who have never experienced a fire, do not realize the extent of the loss. After the first three steps have been taken, it is time to begin to replace all relevant documents. This process may take a while, but a person should not give up too soon. The following is only a partial list of the documents that may need to be replaced:
- Driver's License
- Social Security Cards
- Tax Returns
- Health, Life, Auto, and House Insurance Policies
- Birth Certificates
- Marriage Licenses
- Credit Cards
- Shot Records
- Divorce Papers
- Death Certificates
Many of these documents can be replace at various govenment offices. If there is burnt money, it can possibly be replaced. If the money is only partly burnt, take it to the Department of the Treasury.
Step #5: Returning home
The handling of the after effects of a fire can be scary and emotionally draining. The process can be long and new things that need attention will be remembered daily. The effects can last years, but the healing process can begin as soon as the fire department leaves. An individual can take control of an uncontrollable situation and enjoy the security of the family.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on fire damage.
3 Reasons Your Ceiling Tiles Are Discolored
Give SERVPRO a call if you notice mold in your home or business.
When ceiling tiles age, they can lose their original color. As dust accumulates or color fades from exposure to UV light, tiles can begin to look different. Fortunately, the change is usually uniform across all tiles, so it isn’t noticeable. A bigger issue is tile discoloration that stands out from the rest of the ceiling. More often than not, it’s a result of water saturating the tile.
You may want to replace the discolored tiles, but before you do, it’s critical to eliminate the source of the problem. Excess water can weaken building materials and cause the growth of tile mold, requiring a water damage mitigation expert in St. Louis, MO to handle the cleanup. Before you try to replace or clean the affected ceiling area, check to see if one of these issues is causing the problem.
1. Your building is leaking.
If the discolored ceiling is on your building’s top floor, you could be looking at a leak in your roof. If the stain is concentrated next to an outside wall, it could be a leak in the outer wall. Bring in your contractor to see if he or she can locate the source of the leak and make repairs. If you find tile mold or excessive moisture in your attic or wall, call in an expert to remove the moldy materials and dry the area out completely.
2. Water is condensing.
Uninsulated air vents can cause condensation that drips down and seeps into ceiling tiles. Likewise, any place where steam rises can create condensation on the ceiling, leading to stains. Look carefully at the location of the discoloration to see if it’s in close proximity to vents, radiators, stovetops or other likely culprits.
3. There’s a plumbing problem.
A pipe or plumbing fixture located over the ceiling may be leaking. An experienced plumber should be able to locate the leak and make repairs. Plumbing leaks can quickly lead to tile mold, but don’t attempt to clean it yourself. A mitigation expert in St. Louis, MO will know how to do the mold cleanup quickly and efficiently so you can get your new ceiling tiles installed in no time. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthweststlouiscounty.com for more information on mold.