How To Make a Water Damage Claim
Prepare for the insurance adjuster
How To Make a Water Damage Claim
Seeing your home go through a flood or other devastating event that caused water damage, it’s important to make an insurance claim promptly so you can begin water damage repairs as soon as possible.
1. Review Your Insurance Policy
To ensure your claim is not denied, it’s important that you go through your policy to understand exactly what your responsibilities are in this type of situation. For example, if the flooding was caused by a crime, your policy may require you to report it to the police.
2. Call Your Insurance Agent
To make sure you fully understand the policy, and to begin your insurance claim, immediately call your insurance agent. Ask whether you’re covered, the time limit you have to complete the needed documents, and if you’ll need to collect repair estimates for any structural damage.
If your insurance claim will likely be accepted, fill out the necessary forms right away. These will be sent to you by the insurance company, and they are required to send them within a certain period of time.
3. Take Pictures and Keep All Receipts
Take pictures or video of all the damage as soon as you can. Then take steps to protect your home and belongings from further damage. Try to avoid throwing away anything you think the insurance company can replace so the adjuster can see it.
If you make temporary repairs and spend money doing it, you may be able to give the receipts to the insurance company for reimbursement. If the damage requires you to relocate temporarily, keep these receipts too.
4. Prepare for the Insurance Adjuster
Many insurance companies will want to send an adjuster to your home to determine how much they should pay. This may include a short interview with you to find out if it was truly an unavoidable accident or natural disaster, and then they will inspect the damage. It’s also helpful to make a list of damages that you can give to the adjuster so nothing is left out, including any damaged belongings along with their receipts or estimated values.
Fix Your Home
No matter how small your water damage is in Town and Country, MO, from a basement flood to a bathroom pipe burst, it’s important to know what your homeowner’s insurance can cover. Being aware of your responsibilities after the disaster is also vital, so you aren’t stuck paying an unexpected repair bill out-of-pocket.
Mitigation vs. Restoration After a Storm: What’s the Difference
Commercial cleanup in a Chesterfield, MO building
Mitigation vs. Restoration After a Storm
When bad weather strikes your Chesterfield, MO commercial business, the results can be devastating. Rain, snow and ice, and high winds can damage your building and the valuable products and/or equipment inside. Flooding is the most common occurrence after a storm, so you must first mitigate the problem by working with a flood cleanup company to remove the immediate threat before you can begin the restoration process and get your business back to full speed.
The mitigation process should begin as soon as water has entered your building. This is a quick process that is meant to remove the threat of additional damage and costly repairs to your business. A flood cleanup company will remove the water from your building in order to prevent:
Mold growth: Black mold is common after a flood and can only be prevented if water is removed quickly
Further damage: Standing water and saturation will quickly degrade walls, floors, furniture, and other items in your building
Termites: These wood destroying bugs thrive in warm, wet conditions, leaving your business vulnerable without help from a flood cleanup company
Once all water has been removed and the extent of the damage has been evaluated, a restoration company can begin to help you rebuild your business. Unlike mitigation, restoration can be a lengthy process that is dependent on the extent of the damage in the building. As stated previously, water degrades the structure of your building, so any wall, floor, and roof repairs will be part of this process. Windows and doors may need to be replaced, and new carpeting and fresh paint will need to be applied. Your flood cleanup and restoration company will aim to restore your business to its previous state, so working closely with them to quickly move through the mitigation process and ensure thorough restoration of your building will help you get your business up and running at full speed faster.
Do I Really Need a Security Fence After a Commercial Fire?
Security fencing after a fire can limit damage, liability and worry
Do I Really Need a Security Fence After a Commercial Fire?
A commercial fire can, at first glance, feel like a total loss. Let the insurance adjuster determine the amount of loss and what is salvageable. In the meantime, it’s your responsibility to secure the property and protect the public. A security fence around the perimeter is a good way to accomplish both.
Major fire damage could take weeks or even months to repair. Taking security measures sooner rather than later can decrease worries by protecting your building and property from:
- Animal Entry
- Insurance Issues
Animals and unauthorized people can affect the disaster area. This can not only cause loss of property due to looting but also more damage to the building and its contents. Good commercial property insurance covers the majority of the fire damage, as well as the resulting water damage and smoke damage. However, it likely won’t cover much, if any, damage indirectly incurred. Fortunately, this is fairly easy to avoid by installing a security fence.
It is important that security measures are put in place as soon as possible after a fire. Your insurance company expects you as the property owner to ensure that every reasonable step has been taken to limit the amount of further loss and damage. Failure to take this step leaves your business open to a variety of potential risks to your property. It also leaves your business in a precarious position regarding liability. There is no excuse for an unauthorized individual to be lingering on your property after a fire occurs, but it happens. Fire damaged buildings can be extremely dangerous to enter. You can be held responsible for any injury that occurs in or around your building, especially an injury to a child.
If you experience a fire at your business in Creve Coeur, MO, a security fence can limit damage, liability and worry. You can also feel confident in hiring fire damage restoration experts to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.
3 Smart Ways To Prevent an Ice Dam
Ice dam in a Manchester, MO home
If you live in a home in Manchester, MO, you are most likely familiar with the concern of an ice dam forming on your roof. This homeowner headache can occur after any winter storm and may leave its mark by causing leaks through the walls or ceiling as well as roof damage. While you can’t totally prevent this icy problem, you can prepare your house before winter weather leaves you out in the cold. These three suggestions can get your home in good shape and lessen the chance of significant damage.
Turn a Cold Shoulder
A dam can form when frozen precipitation builds up on your roof, melting and refreezing underneath the top snowy layer. That frozen runoff can clog gutters and form icicles, which in turn may force water under the shingles and into your home below. A smart solution for ice dam prevention is simply to stop heating your roof, which can be achieved in a few ways:
- Check attic insulation levels to keep warm air inside
- Add vents in the roof or soffits for better air circulation
- Add weatherstripping to make your home more energy efficient
Rake It Away
You can use a snow rake on a telescoping pole to comb the snow from the edge of your roof. This option is best for single story homes, and while not a long-term solution, it can remove some of the precipitation before it has a chance to melt. It also means that you may have to be outside after every winter storm, although you can hire a professional service to do it for you.
An Ounce of Prevention
Perhaps the best way to ensure prevention is by winterizing your home. Have your roof inspected, and add special adhesive under the shingles. You can also invest in heated cables to run along your roof edge, in gutters, and through downspouts to keep the runoff flowing away from your home.
If you do have roof or interior damage because of an ice dam, you should work with an emergency restoration service to quickly repair your home in Manchester, MO, and get it in shape before the next snow hits.
3 Ways to Remove Smoke Odor From Your Home
Ozone generators can help eliminate smoke odors
3 Ways to Remove Smoke Odor From Your Home
If you’ve experienced a fire in your Fernridge, MO home, chances are you’ve already had quite a bit of damage to deal with. Unfortunately, odor from smoke damage can linger even after repairs have been made. If you are having trouble removing this unpleasant smell from your house, try the following methods.
1. Clean Hard Surfaces
When smoke travels through your house during a fire, it carries soot and other contaminants. These can cover your belongings as well as walls and floors. In order to remove the odor from these areas, you will need to include them in your smoke cleaning. If you have not already done so, scrub any hard surfaces that have been affected. This will likely include spaces outside the immediate area of the fire since smoke travels further than flames.
2. Wash Porous Materials
Because smoke carries contaminants, this easily allows smoke odor to become trapped inside porous materials. For smaller items, such as clothing and stuffed toys, a spin through the washing machine may remove any lingering smells. Items that are more difficult to clean, such as upholstered furniture, mattresses and dry-clean only materials, may need to be replaced.
3. Use Professional Equipment
Sometimes, after cleaning the surfaces of your home and washing or removing all affected belongings, there is still an unpleasant odor left inside the house. When this happens, you may need to try a different approach to smoke cleaning. Equipment such as ozone machines and other air filtration devices can help eliminate odors by cleaning the air itself. It removes any present smoke molecules and leaves you with clean air that smells fresher.
If you have tried to perform smoke cleaning on your own but have not had the desired results, hiring a fire damage restoration company may be the best choice. With their training, experience and equipment, they will be able to get your home looking, and smelling, like it did before the fire.
How To Prevent Mold
Make sure that you have plenty of ventilation in kitchens and bathrooms
Top Three Tips On Mold Prevention
While everyone has heard the horror stories surrounding mold, not everyone has had to deal with it. When most hear the word mold, it brings up feelings of worry, disgust and frustration at the idea of mold cleanup. Quick mitigation in Maryland Heights, MO, and due diligence are the key to preventing water damage and the subsequent mold in your building. Follow these top three tips on mold prevention.
1. Remove Moisture Immediately
Do not wait when your home floods. The sooner that you handle the problem, the more likely you are to have less mold damage. As soon as you experience flooding, contact mold remediation services to dry your home and to remove any water. Mold only grows with the help of water.
2. Ventilate Your Building Promptly
In order to help prevent mold, your building must have proper ventilation. Stuffy, moist rooms tend to be breeding grounds for mold and water damage. To avoid it, you want to make sure that your daily activities do not welcome the growth of mold. For instance, make sure that you have plenty of ventilation in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms.
3. Locate Any Problem Areas
You may not be able to make it impossible for mold to grow, but you can turn your home into a mold-resistant home. Survey your home and look for the problem areas. Do you have a window that gathers condensation? Does your basement regularly flood? Wherever water is consistently a problem, address it and find a solution.
Most people understand that mold and water damage are something that you want to avoid entirely. While it’s common enough, there are ways to prevent it from springing up in your home. Additionally, if you do have a chance of mold, you can take care of it with quick remediation. The faster that you act on mold, the more likely you are to prevent it from spreading and to prevent future instances of mold growth. Whenever you need help with mold prevention, there is a restoration company Here To Help.
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.