Do Landlords Have To Pay For Fire Damage to Commercial Property?
Fire damage in a Bridgeton, MO commercial building
If you own a commercial building in Bridgeton, MO, you may be wondering if you have to pay for the cost of any fire damage to that space. As with an apartment fire, it depends on exactly what was damaged.
Structural vs. Personal Property Damage
The owner of a commercial building is responsible for any damage to the actual property. This includes:
- Emergency restoration services
The tenant, meanwhile, has to pay for any damages to personal possessions such as furniture or electronics. The one exception is if the tenant can prove that negligence by the landlord led to the fire. In that case, the property owner may have to reimburse any costs incurred by the tenant.
Thankfully, your company may not have to spend its hard-earned profits to repair structural fire damage to a building it owns. If you have premises liability coverage, your insurance provider should pay for most or all of the costs. Your company may just have to pay the deductible.
Responsibility for the Fire
If a tenant in a residential building actually caused an apartment fire, the tenant typically pays for the damages. The same is true for commercial building fires.
Your insurance provider will thus contact the tenant’s renter’s insurance company for compensation if it is believed that the tenant was responsible for the fire. If the tenant does not have renter’s insurance, your insurer may contact the tenant directly for reimbursement.
You may even want to put language in your lease agreements stating that any tenants that cause a fire to the building will have to pay your insurance deductible. This could save your company money.
Repairing a commercial property after a fire is usually more complex than fixing the damage caused by an apartment fire. With a good commercial property insurance policy and some help from experienced restoration professionals, the impact on your business’ profit margin will be minimal.
What to Do When Your Fire Sprinklers Go Off Accidentally
What to Do When Your Fire Sprinklers Go Off Accidentally
While fire sprinklers are there to protect your building, they can cause major issues such as flooding when they go off accidentally. It is best to have a plan in place in case this problem does occur. If this does happen, follow these guidelines to ensure that the damage is properly dealt with.
Shut off the Water Supply Line
The first thing you should do if you find yourself in this situation is to turn off the water supply line. This will stop the sprinklers from continuing to go off. This step is extremely important because the sooner you shut off the source, the less water damage there will be.
Clean up the Damage
In addition to cleaning up the standing water, you will need to deal with furniture and office equipment and documents that got wet. You may want to consider calling a professional water restoration company to help you. The flooding needs to be taken care of as quickly as possible in order to avoid mold growth.
Call the Insurance Company
Your insurance company should be able to go over your policy with you to determine what is covered. You need to take pictures of everything that was damaged before you being cleaning up. They are far less likely to pay if you do not have evidence.
Determine the Cause
The insurance company will probably want to know what caused the fire sprinklers to go off in the first place. You may also want this information so that you can avoid having the same thing happen again later on. If you bring them to the manufacturer, they should be able to tell you what the issue was.
Acting fast is of the utmost importance when flooding occurs. Open all windows to begin ventilating the building until a water mitigation expert arrives. You can carefully begin to clean up wet areas, but they should be able to help you with the larger problems, such as wet carpets.
Getting to the Bottom of Shower Sewage Smells
Problems showing up in one place can be related to a clogged pipe
The last thing you want to smell during a shower is stinky sewage. A clog between your toilet and sewer can cause just that. Luckily, there are DIY sewage cleaning fixes you can use to minimize this problem in your Town and Country, MO, home. Pick up an auger from your local hardware store and follow these steps to start fixing your shower sewage problem.
Common Causes for the Problem
The plumbing in your home is highly interconnected. That means problems showing up in one place can be related to a clogged pipe elsewhere in the room. When it comes to a toilet overflow or sewage smells when the shower is on, the issue is generally a blockage in the pipes that serve both. Such a clog can have multiple causes:
- Hair down the shower drain
- Debris down the toilet
To tackle a blockage in either area, you’ll need to invest in an auger, or plumber's snake. These tools can be motorized or hand operated. Either type works by using a flexible wire to force a clog through the pipes.
Clearing a Toilet Clog
Using a 25-foot snake, guide the device down into the toilet. Be sure to apply force when you detect the clog to push it down and through the pipes. Test whether your sewage cleaning efforts worked by running your shower. If the toilet is no longer overflowing, your problem is solved.
Clearing a Shower Clog
Sometimes snaking the toilet doesn’t fix the problem. In that case, you want to try going through the shower drain. Find your drain cleanout and insert the snake. Maneuver the auger until you hit the clog and push it through.
Sewer smells are no fun. Use these steps for minor sewage cleaning and your problem should disappear. If the above doesn’t solve the issue, contact a qualified water specialist to ensure you don’t have a bigger sewer issue.
Mold and Your Food: The Why and What of This Ugly Truth
Mold on food
Chances are you've encountered it on several occasions in your life — food that has gone moldy. Bread mold is the most common type of food mold people encounter, but most other types of food can develop this fungus as well. How does it occur, and which foods are the biggest culprits? Find out below.
Why Food Develops Mold
Mold is a simple entity that doesn't require much to grow and thrive. Fungus needs just four things to flourish:
- Suitable air quality
- Adequate temperatures
That's it. Every mold is different, too, so even if you reduce risk factors for one type of mold, you risk creating the perfect environment for a second type.
Food is particularly prone to fungus growth because it naturally contains water or another type of fluid. Also, food by its very nature is all the sustenance mold needs to survive. Stick a food item in a dark, cool place such as a cabinet or refrigerator and voila — you've created the perfect breeding grounds for fungus.
Types of Food That Are Most Susceptible
As already mentioned, bread mold is the most common type of food mold people encounter. However, there are several other types of sustenance that develop fungus. For instance, fridge mold can attack cheeses, dairy products, fruits, veggies, jams, jellies, butters, pastas and even meats. Some foods to keep an eye on as they age include the following:
- Cured meats
- Jams and jellies
- Pickled veggies
- High acid fruits
- Most cheeses and yogurts
If you notice mold on food, don't try to cut it out or scoop it away. You cannot tell just by looking where else on the food item mold spores have landed. The best thing you can do once you spot mold is toss the item in question. Doing so may mean you have to run to the grocery store sooner than you'd like, but it can also save you from experiencing any adverse effects of ingesting mold.
Is bread mold not your only concern? If your home shows signs of mold growth as well, reach out to your Chesterfield, MO, mold remediation team.
Content Restoration 101: What Can You Salvage and What Should You Throw Out?
Fire causes smoke and soot damage to your belongings and we have the cleaning techniques to restore to pre-fire conditions
In the aftermath of a house fire, it is common for people to feel devastated if they find that many of their personal belongings have been damaged by fire, smoke, or water. If your home in Maryland Heights, MO, has recently been affected by a fire, you’ll be relieved to know that a fire restoration company can clean and restore many of your possessions using methods like dry-cleaning, abrasive cleaning, and freezer drying. However, there are some types of items that are unsafe to keep after a fire. Here is some valuable information on which of your belongings can possibly be salvaged and which items will need to be thrown out, so you can know what to expect for the content cleaning process.
While many items can be restored depending on the extent of the damage, you’re best off always throwing away the following items:
- Non-perishable items affected by heat
- Perishable food items left at room temperature or smelling of smoke
- Charred or burnt clothing
- Medicine and cosmetic items exposed to high temperatures or soot
Most of your other belongings will be eligible for restoration. Most common household items like smoke damaged clothing, house decorations, and furniture will be put into content storage and cleaned using a variety of methods including:
- Spray and wipe
- Wet cleaning
- Foam cleaning
- Abrasive cleaning
- Immersion cleaning
Electronics require special handling and can be permanently damaged if mishandled, so never turn them on right after a fire has occurred. Important documents and photographs may be salvaged using methods such as dehumidification or air, freezer, vacuum freeze, and vacuum thermal drying.
Except for the few exclusions listed in this guide, fire restoration specialists have the necessary expertise to evaluate your belongings and decide what can be salvaged. They restore your items using the best cleaning methods whether that just involves light dry-cleaning or heavy cleaning and drying services.
Planning for Storm Disruptions
Flood damage in Fernridge, MO area
How to Prepare for a Severe Weather Event
Many business owners and property managers in Fernridge, MO, don't know how to prepare for the downtime and property damage that can come from a severe weather event. With a simple storm strategy, you can be ready to contact a flood cleanup company should the need arise.
1. Immediate Response
If a natural disaster or other flood damage scenario strikes your area, you must be ready to contact your insurance company and other local officials with relevant information. This will include the details of your policy and proof of ownership for any properties you own or manage. This will facilitate the allocation of any funds from the corporations and government agencies that have been assigned to help. A qualified flood cleanup professional can begin removing water and contaminated items from your buildings at this stage. Ask your chosen restoration company about sensitive document recovery as well.
2. Future Protections
Having to resort to a flood cleanup company in this way is not always the most cost-effective method of maintaining your property. A majority of insurance claims for building damage result from water entry. By stopping the water before it gets into your building, you can reduce the financial strain on your business.
3. Best Practices
Maintain your building envelope by keeping the shingles and gutters in good shape. This will deposit rainfall away from the roof and foundation of the building, preventing flooding and mold growth. Use gravel or heavy mulch in your landscaping to prevent erosion. Over time, soil loss can lead to rivulets and puddles that can direct water toward the walls and doors. Extra landscaping may be necessary if your business is located in an especially high-risk area. Create swales with surplus earth and plant water-tolerant shrubbery and trees to keep your topsoil where it belongs.
While a number of reasonably-priced flood cleanup company options exist, it will always be more efficient to stop storm damage before it starts.
What To Do When a Storm Approaches
Many circumstances can lead to flooding.
Many circumstances can lead to flooding. These include
- Heavy rain or snow
- Coastal storms and heavy wind storms
- Overflowing dams
- Damaged sewer systems
When flood water rises, it may lead to power outages, lack of transportation, flooded buildings, and landslides. These situations make up the most common natural disaster in the United States. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to protect your Manchester, MO home and family from harm when storms develop.
Protect Your Family First
The safety of your family should be your top priority. The rise of flood water often leads to unsafe conditions. The best way to maintain safety is to follow the instructions of local authorities. Follow this list of dos and don'ts.
- Do go around pools of water; don't drive through them.
- Do avoid bridges over fast-moving water.
- Do move to higher ground or go upstairs in your home.
- Do evacuate when told to do so.
- Don't re-enter your home until you have permission from first responders.
Prevent Damage to Your Home
There are steps you can take to protect your home as well as your family. Before storms or damaged sewer systems lead to water damage, make sure you know what the risks are to your family. Check with your local government to determine the risks of flooding and the most common type of situations. Next, keep supplies on hand to board up your windows and plug any drains in your basement. Consider purchasing a flood insurance policy. Protect important documents by storing them in a waterproof container.
Take Action When a Storm Approaches
If you know that a storm system is on its way, consider buying a sump pump. You should also move appliances and valuables to higher levels of your home. Turn off the electricity to lower levels of the home. Clean out drains and gutters around your home.
Taking steps before a storm to control flood water and keep it out of your home is a good way to protect your home and your family. Check with water damage remediation professionals to learn about more steps you should take.
When a Toilet Overflow Damages 2 Floors
Once the area damaged by the flooded toilet water is completely dry, deodorization and disinfectants can be used.
If your multi-story commercial building in Manchester, MO has sewer damage or a toilet overflow, chances are pretty good that the water has contaminated more than one floor. Since the polluted water is considered a category three liquid, common cleaners are not considered adequate to abide by OSHA standards. Contacting a certified water mitigation team is the best first choice in dealing with the water intrusion. Here are three steps the professionals often use to mitigate the problem.
1. Water Removal
After turning off the water and contacting the sewage company, the team may try to identify the source of the water. Once the source is located and identified as a cracked toilet bowl, overflowing base, or damaged wax ring, the liquid is removed, and the drying process can begin. While the area is drying, an inspection of damage can take place, and signs of secondary problems can be found.
Water from an overflowing toilet is sewer damage and considered black water. That means the area will need to have a tear-out of all carpet, padding, wet insulation, and water-soaked plasterboard. If the water damaged more than one floor, tear-out can often include two floor structures, one ceiling, and sometimes multiple walls. The area is then left to dry using commercial fans and dehumidifiers.
3. Area Disinfection
Once the area damaged by the flooded toilet water is completely dry, deodorization and disinfectants can be used to bring the area up to OSHA standards. This can sometimes include treating the bare wood with a mold inhibitor in case fungus spores have attached themselves to the miniature cracks the water damage caused. After the area is thoroughly disinfected, a rebuilding and restoration team can begin work.
Sewer damage in a multi-floor commercial building can easily be dealt with by a certified water mitigation team. They can get the area repaired or restored quickly so that you can resume operations.
3 Reasons To Add Mold Coverage to Your Pollution Liability Policy
Mold damage will often require the work of a mold remediation service.
When you are taking out insurance for your Manchester, MO business, you might wonder if you really need to add mold coverage to your Pollution Liability policy. While it may seem unnecessary, it can be a good idea to have it added. Here are a few reasons why.
1. Mold Is a Common Problem
Mold is everywhere. There are numerous species of mold that can be found both indoors and outdoors. Because of this, you can find mold growing in many buildings. If you do not have coverage, it is likely that any mold insurance claims you make could be denied.
2. Mold Coverage Is Often Limited
While there are some circumstances in which you may be able to file a mold claim under your general insurance, this is not always the case. Even if the claim is approved, the extent of repairs or remediation that your insurance company is willing to pay for can be very limited. If the cause of the damage does not fall under a covered peril, then they may not cover any work at all.
3. Mold Can Cause a Lot of Damage
Because mold spores can spread extremely quickly in the right conditions, it is possible that your building could suffer a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Mold can find a home inside of your walls before you’ve even noticed it. If you start to see a growth forming, it is possible that there is much more hidden where you cannot see it. It can also spread to carpets and fabrics which may then need to be replaced. If your mold insurance claims are not approved, it can be very costly to have repairs done.
Mold damage will often require the work of a mold remediation service. Adding mold coverage will make it easier for you to make mold insurance claims and can save you quite a bit of money in the long run.
Welcome to the Team, Kelly!
It’s possible you may already know, but the Thole and Lang family SERVPRO’s just added an accomplished member to the team.
Kelly Kordick, of Iowa and Arizona fame, is joining the team as our Manager of Marketing.
Kelly comes with 9 years of experience from an Arizona SERVPRO where she was a meaningful and important part of that team.
During her years in Arizona Kelly established herself as a professional and a major team contributor. Everything that Kelly has accomplished she’s earned herself. She started in the SERVPRO world as a SMR and over time worked herself into the Sales and Marketing Manager role where she continued to thrive.
She has substantial experience in Storm response having been a Storm Team estimator for multiple disasters including Hurricane Sandy and the 2016 Boulder Floods.
Kelly brings a lot to the table and has the skills and that certain “know-how” to help our franchises reach greater heights of success — in other words, 2019 is going to be a good year.
We are proud and excited to have Kelly on the team and we are looking forward to what the future brings.
Thanks for joining me in welcoming Kelly to the team.
-Team Thole and Lang