Understanding Water Damage Claims
The insurance adjuster visits your home to assess your claim
If bursting pipes cause water damage in your home in Scarsdale, NY, your homeowners insurance may cover the cost of damage remediation. Not every claim gets accepted, though. In order to file a successful claim, there are a few questions you should be able to answer.
Who Is Involved?
There are four main entities you will probably deal with when you have water damage in your home:
- Insurance agent
- Insurance adjuster
- Water remediation experts
A plumber is the person you call to fix broken pipe. Your insurance agent can help you understand your policy and whether or not you can expect your specific problem to be covered. The insurance adjuster visits your home to assess your claim and determine how much, if anything, the company will pay. Remediation experts can also assess the damage and provide an estimate of the cost of repairs before they start the work on your home.
What Is Covered?
Most homeowners policies cover damage caused by sudden events such as bursting pipes. They may not pay for the pipe itself to be repaired, but you can usually recoup the cost to repair the damage it caused. If you respond to the problem in a timely manner, most of your damage should be paid for after you meet the deductible.
What Isn't Covered?
Many basic property policies have exclusions for certain issues. For example, if you live in a flood plain, you will likely need to purchase a separate flood policy in the event that your home is flooded during a storm. If the adjuster can tell that the damage has been there for a long time, particularly if mold growth has sprung up, your neglect may negate your coverage. Most homeowners policies only cover the cost of mold remediation if the growth was the direct result of a covered loss.
Bursting pipes and other sudden issues can cause a lot of damage to your home, but usually those types of problems are covered by your insurance. Your agent can shed more light on how your policies protect you.
Should Your Business Have a National Flood Insurance Program Policy?
Damaged business by floods
Having insurance is a key part of managing risks for a business. However, most commercial insurance policies do not include flood and flood-related damage – something many entrepreneurs learn the hard way. Lenders may insist on a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy, but most businesses don’t have one. Normally, flood insurance in Secor Gardens, NY, must be purchased separately, and the financial assistance offered by FEMA to homeowners is not offered to businesses without a flood policy. Here is some information to help you decide if you need this additional insurance.
What Does NFIP Cover?
First, there are three things you should know about NFIP’s standard commercial insurance covering floods:
- It’s a stand-alone policy that only covers flood damage (as defined below).
- It pays for direct physical damage, up to the limits of the policy, not to exceed actual cash value.
- Personal property coverage is not included with building coverage.
Both building and personal property coverage, which must be purchased separately, are each up to $500,000, depending on your policy limits and deductibles.
What Is a Flood?
The NFIP defines a flood as “a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres (or properties) of normally dry land.” This could be from virtually any source and includes mudflow, collapse or subsidence of land if caused by water “exceeding anticipated cyclical levels.” In other words, if there’s a lot of water above and beyond what’s normally expected, it’s probably a flood to the NFIP.
Should You Get a Policy?
Can your business afford a $90,000 loss in Secor Gardens, NY? That’s the average commercial flood claim, and this damage is not covered under non-NFIP commercial insurance policies. If you are in or close to a hazard zone, you should strongly consider purchasing a policy. Flooding and storm water cleanup are best left to professional companies. While they usually have reasonable rates, having your damage and personal property covered in advance can help diffuse costs.
After the Flames: Water and Smoke Damage
Fire damage in Yonkers, NY
A fire on your property often causes significant damage. The building, your equipment, and any furnishings could be seriously damaged by
- the fire
Smoke and water are particularly problematic; they often reach into rooms otherwise unaffected by the fire. Restoration efforts tend to include water cleanup as well as smoke cleanup steps.
How Fires Cause Water Damage
Flooding may not be one of the first things you associate with a fire on your property, but water does cause a lot of damage after a fire. This is because the fire department uses a lot of water to put out the flames and to ensure the safety of everyone involved. After the smoke settles, however, furnishings may be soggy, and water may be hiding within your equipment. Fire damage and cleanup professionals offer water cleanup services that protect your building and belongings from ongoing harm.
Smoke Stains and Odors Are Problematic
Without the proper response, smoke and soot will continue to leave stains and unpleasant odors long after the flames are gone. Professional smoke cleanup services involve the use of specialized equipment that deep cleans your carpeting, walls, furnishings, and other porous surfaces. These steps prevent further damage that smoke particulates could cause.
Hidden Structural Damages Lead to Injuries
During the fire and ensuing fire-fighting efforts, holes in the roof and walls are fairly common. Additionally, floor beams and similar structures may have been weakened by flames and/or water. Other dangers include chemicals and microbes in water and soot. One of the best ways to avoid serious injury is to stay out of the building until fire cleanup efforts are complete, and you've been given permission from the appropriate authorities.
If your Yonkers, NY, property has been affected by fire, there are probably water and smoke damages as well. In addition to providing fire damage cleanup, professionals will also address water cleanup needs. Be sure to schedule these cleanup efforts right away to prevent serious and lasting damages.
How to Prevent Mold Growing in Your Rental Home
A dehumidifier helps to dry out the air
Whether you own your home or are renting, it’s important to stay on top of mold prevention in your West Mount Vernon, NY, home. While mold can be cleaned up, it is often a challenging repair process and only grows exponentially more so if you don’t take the right preventative actions as soon as a problem is discovered. If you think you may have water damage you should seek to address the issue as quickly as possible.
1. Find the Source
Fixing any wet spots in your home won’t help you in the long run if you don’t tackle the cause. If you’ve discovered a wet spot, then there is either a leak, flood or spill to blame, and it’s important that you determine which it is so that you can begin solving the problem. Let your landlord know that you have discovered a wet spot, and if you are able to identify the cause, tell them what it is as well. The more you share, the better the chances are of your landlord finding the right professional to help.
2. Dry Wet Spots
The key to mold prevention is robbing the mold of the environment that allows for mold growth. That means that if you discover any wet spots, you should attempt to dry them thoroughly as soon as possible. By drying out the area affected by the leaking or flooding, you minimize the risk of mold growth.
3. Dehumidify Your Rooms
If you have a room in your home where there is regularly dampness building up on surfaces, it may be that the humidity in your home is too high. A dehumidifier helps to dry out the air and make it less likely that condensation forms and creates a potential home for mold.
4. Keep the Heat on Low
Mold also benefits from cool spaces, so it can be helpful to keep your heat running for mold prevention. It is not necessary to be blasting your heat at max levels, but keeping the room from getting too cool will lower the chances of mold development.
3 Tips About Smoke Detectors for a Homeowner
Conducting a home fire drill may be helpful
Three Tips About Smoke Detectors
Most people understand that a smoke alarm is an important device to have at a residence in Fleetwood, NY. It’s well-known that smoke detectors can save lives and knowing where to install them and how often they should be tested is critical. Here are three tips for a homeowner to keep in mind about smoke detectors to help ensure that they’re working properly and protecting everyone at home.
1. Install Multiple Smoke Detectors
It is essential to install multiple smoke detectors in a residence. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a smoke detector should be installed in every sleeping room of a home, as well as outside of the bedrooms and on each floor of a residence. It may be beneficial for homeowners to walk through their residence and check to be sure that the proper number of smoke alarms are installed.
Remember that where the sensor is located can directly affect the chances of it working correctly in the event of an emergency. Therefore, it is important to place smoke sensors away from windows or areas that are drafty in the home, which could cause the device to work incorrectly. Additionally, putting an alarm far enough away from kitchen appliances to avoid improper activation is also necessary.
2. Test Smoke Alarms Once per Month and Replace Batteries as Needed
A smoke alarm should be tested at least once per month to check that it’s working properly. If the device emits a “chirping” noise to indicate a low battery, it’s vital to replace the battery as soon as possible.
3. Conduct Fire Drills and Have an Evacuation Plan
In addition to testing a smoke alarm on a regular basis, conducting home fire drills and coming up with an emergency plan may be helpful. Having (and testing) an evacuation plan can prepare family members for what to do if a fire starts.
Fire damage can be restored by professionals who are Here to Help. However, lives cannot be replaced, and smoke detectors that are functioning properly can help prevent the spread of a blaze and save lives.
What to Expect During Storm Restoration
Water removal in a Yonker, Ny home from storm water
What to Expect During Storm Restoration
If you have experienced water damage from a storm in Yonkers, NY, you may be wondering what happens next. You know that you need to have your home repaired, but what exactly will that entail? Here are a few things that you can expect to happen during restoration.
1. Water Removal
The first step of storm restoration is to remove any water that has built up in the house. The longer the water sits in the building, the worse the damage becomes. In order to save time and money during repairs, water will need to be removed quickly. If the water came from a flood, the area should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized as well.
2. Tearing Out Damaged Materials
While some items may be able to be salvaged, workers may need to tear out damaged materials such as dry wall or carpeting. Particularly if it was affected by flood waters, these porous materials will be difficult to clean. It will be much easier and more sanitary to remove and replace them.
3. Drying the Building
After workers remove the water from your home and tear out any damaged materials, the house will need to be dried thoroughly. This will ensure that the damage will not worsen and will help prevent the growth and spread of mold. Open windows, fans and dehumidifiers can all help with this process.
4. Restoration and Repairs
The final step is to restore and repair the building. This can sometimes include extensive work such as rebuilding heavily damaged areas. Minor repairs such as repainting and replacing carpeting or tiles will happen during this step as well.
Whether you need to tear out and replace materials or only need some minor work done, a cleanup and restoration service can provide what you need. They have the training and equipment to return your home to its previous condition in a timely manner so you can back to your normal routine.
Dealing With Fire Damage
Smoke and soot damage in a Mount Vernon, NY property
Fire damage can seem scary, and that reputation is well-deserved. If you understand the repercussions and prepare accordingly, you can make it much easier on yourself should a fire occur on your property in Mount Vernon, NY. There's no need to panic if you have a plan.
What To Expect
Unfortunately, fires can cause more than just plain fire damage, which is sometimes forgotten. Part of what makes them so destructive is their variability and the side effects they produce. Some common additional forms of damage are:
- smoke and soot damage
- water damage
- damage from fire suppression materials, such as foam, powder and pressurized hoses
- heat damage, primarily the melting of materials
On top of the damage itself, there are more logistics and costs to consider after the flames are put out. You will probably want to find temporary storage for the unharmed contents of your building until the repairs are finished. You may even consider looking for a space to conduct business in the meantime. Your insurance adjuster may also require an inventory and evaluation of all items damaged.
Orchestrating the Process
You could run around attempting to find a service or professional to address every separate issue mentioned above. However, it is usually much more efficient to find a one-stop fire mitigation service. These types of services understand everything you will need done and it can be much less confusing if you only have to keep track of one contact. This will also ensure that these processes are coordinated and completed in the correct order.
The concept of fire damage may seem simple at first, but is actually a problem containing many layers. To make sure that everything is done right and nothing is overlooked, hiring a company that can provide every service necessary in the aftermath of the fire is key. Consider choosing one that is right for you before you actually need them!
5 Tips To Minimize Mold Growth in Commercial Buildings
Air purifiers containing HEPA filters can reduce the risk of proliferation
Five Steps to Minimize the Risk of Proliferation and Secondary Damage
Microscopic mold spores are prevalent throughout the environment. As a result, every commercial building in Elmsmere, NY, is potentially susceptible to black mold growth. Although the problem may seem intimidating, there are five steps every property manager can take to minimize the risk of proliferation and secondary damage mandating a professional mold cleanup.
1. Manage Humidity Levels
Moisture is a key component for mold growth, and high humidity levels can encourage fungal expansion. To alleviate humidity concerns, employ dehumidifiers and use fans to circulate air. You should also seal drafts present near windows and exterior doors.
2. Maintain Restrooms
Your building’s restrooms may be damp environments. Routinely cleaning these areas can help you detect and address leaks and pooled water, eliminating ideal conditions for black mold proliferation.
Properly maintaining tile floors in your bathrooms can also prevent fungal contamination. Because grout is porous, you should protect the structure by routinely applying a sealant.
3. Complete Annual Maintenance
Over time, HVAC and fire suppression systems may be vulnerable to leaks. Completing annual inspections and recommended maintenance procedures on these important systems enables you to evaluate critical components and address existing problems before significant seepage occurs.
4. Examine Suspicious Symptoms
Sometimes compromised pipes can be difficult to detect. If you notice stains on your walls or ceilings, unusual dampness or warped floorboards, you should promptly investigate the area for a hidden leak.
If you discover a broken supply line, taking prompt action is crucial. To prevent secondary damage, remove saturated objects, including drywall and insulation, and commence drying the water-damaged space.
5. Utilize Air Purifiers
Because of the natural presence of mold spores, maintaining a mold-free office space may be extremely difficult. Air purifiers containing HEPA filters can, however, trap and eliminate some fungal particles, reducing the risk of proliferation.
Extensive black mold growth can be an unsightly and potentially costly problem for any business. Conscientious managers can take proactive measures to alleviate the threat of contamination, helping to preserve the structural integrity of their buildings.
What to Expect After a Kitchen Flood
Flooded kitchen in Eastchester, NY
Kitchen Flooding, What to Expect?
There may be nothing more unpleasant than waking up in the morning to make breakfast only to find your kitchen is flooded. Whether your dishwasher leaked in the night, or a pipe burst, kitchen water damage can occur quickly and without warning. If kitchen flooding is a new experience for you, you may be wondering what to expect. Can this water be cleaned up? What should be done about swelling wood? How much is this going to cost? As you begin cleaning-up and making repairs, know what to look for as you try to salvage your remaining kitchen space.
Generally, wet wooden cabinets can be emptied and dried if water incidents are caught early-on. If your kitchen cabinets have undergone more severe water exposure over days or weeks, complete removal is likely inevitable. If a water supply line has broken beneath your kitchen sink or behind a kitchen cabinet, begin by taking the following measures:
Shut-off the water valve
Empty cabinets of all contents and move them to a dry location
Towel up as much water as possible
Allow cabinets to air dry or bring-in circulation fans if necessary
For cabinets that have been soaked by water for more than a few days, it is advisable to completely remove them and replace them with new materials. Cabinets made of particle board or wood veneer are least likely to handle water damage well.
Because of the durable nature or real-wood flooring, most hardwood kitchen flooring can be salvaged after a kitchen flood. While water pipe repair is taking place, consider calling a water damage restoration professional to evaluate the damage done. Even if there is some swelling wood taking place, a professional cleanup crew in Eastchester, NY, may be able to restore your flooring to its previously unharmed state.
As you evaluate your flooded kitchen, determine which materials can be saved and which should go. If swelling wood or other visible damage can be seen, expect some professional cleanup and repair work in your near future.
When Security Fencing May Be Necessary After a Fire
Fire Damage in Scarsdale New York
If your building was recently devastated by a fire, you may be asked to vacate the premises until the structure has been fully remediated. While that is the safe thing to do, you may be concerned about the safety of your property while it’s uninhabited. After all, it is not uncommon for damaged or abandoned buildings to become victims of vandalism and theft, and vacancy may attract vagabonds. To keep your property safe, both your Scarsdale, NY, fire remediation team and insurance adjuster may suggest a security fence.
Before you install a fence however, there are some things you should do beforehand:
- Call in all service providers, such as plumbers, electricians and gas suppliers, to inspect your building's internal systems and ensure that all are in safe, working condition.
- Turn off all utilities.
- Invest in shutters, storm doors, commercial locks and other means of keeping vandals out.
- Make a list of damaged and destroyed items.
- Discuss your options with your insurance provider.
Why You Should Install a Security Border
You never know how long a fire will keep you out of your building. Depending on the extent of the damage, and what kind of damage was done to the internal workings of your building, you may be out of your building for just a few weeks or a few months. If your Scarsdale, NY, fire restoration team informs you that remediation efforts will take months, you may want to install a security fence in the meantime. Not only will a fence keep the bad guys out, but it can also give you peace of mind and reduce your insurance costs. Insurance companies like to see property owners take initiative to protect their properties, and are likely to give you a discount for doing so. On the flipside, if you don't invest in a fence, you may be viewed as a risk, and you may see a bump in your monthly premium.
Don't risk additional damage to your building by failing to invest in adequate security. Talk to your insurance company about security fence options today.