Will Insurance Cover a Flooded Basement?
Drying equipment in an Eastchester, NY basement
A flooded basement is certainly an incident you hope to avoid at all costs. Unfortunately, there are events beyond your control that may result in water in your Eastchester, NY, home. Even if you can’t always prevent a basement flood, it is possible to know ahead of time what your insurance will cover.
Water problems always seem to occur at an inconvenient time. However, if you’re armed with some knowledge about your insurance policy, you may be able to breathe a bit easier knowing that there is help available.
Some insurance policies cover water damage under two categories. If the structure of your house has been damaged due to a water pipe bursting or some other water leak, your dwelling insurance coverage may help with repair costs. There are also specific risks covered under the personal property category that may assist with the replacement or repair of belongings.
Homeowners' insurance may cover water damage if it’s sudden and accidental. Talk with your insurance agent or a company representative to learn more about your policy and other alternatives you may have. By understanding your insurance coverage, you’ll know what your options are when it comes time to pay for repairs.
Insurance will not cover water damage if it’s caused by improper home maintenance. Your regular homeowners’ policy also does not cover a basement flood caused by outside sources such as the following events:
- Overflowing bodies of water
- Outside drains and sewer pipes
Another area that is generally not included is the source of the damage. For example, if your washing machine is the sudden cause of the leak, your insurance may help pay to fix the flooring; however, it will not cover the cost of a new machine.
A basement flood is stressful and costly. Fortunately, water damage specialists are available to help with repairs. Always notify your insurance company immediately to find out about assistance with renovation expenses.
Preparing an Escape Plan for Your Home
There should be an area outside of the home that every member should meet in the event of a fire
When fire breaks out in your Bronxville, NY home, you and your family likely only have a few minutes to escape safely. Extreme heat, suffocating and blinding smoke, and deadly flames can make escape nearly impossible. When children or those with limited mobility are involved, able-bodied members of the family will want to help, putting everyone in danger. One of the best ways to keep your family safe is to create a comprehensive fire escape plan.
Elements of a Comprehensive Escape Plan
Simply put, an emergency escape plan could mean the difference between life and death for members of the household. Take the time to thoroughly plan and practice your fire escape plan using the following steps:
- Inspect the home for escape routes – The entire family should work together to identify at least two ways to escape every room in the home
- Check doors and windows – Make sure every member of your home can easily open any door and window in the home, and ensure regular maintenance of any windows that are prone to getting stuck
- Draw a map – Every member of the home should memorize their copies of the emergency plan, which clearly outlines escape routes from every room
- Choose a meeting spot – There should be an area outside of the home that every member should meet in the event of a fire
- Conduct fire drills – Much like school or the workplace, regular fire drills can help ensure everyone knows what to during an emergency
Young children and those with limited mobility will likely need help escaping a fire. Assign an able-bodied adult to one of these individuals and practice helping them evacuate. Inspect your home to ensure you have fire alarms in every room in the house, plus one on every floor of the home. Finally, ensure you have emergency contact information and a plan in place to begin the fire cleanup and restoration process after the fire. By creating a strong fire escape plan, you are giving yourself and your family the best chance at surviving a fire if disaster strikes.
How to Handle Water Damage on Commercial Hardwood Floors
Commercial water damage to floor in Tuckahoe, NY
It is important to protect all aspects of your business in Tuckahoe, NY, including the floors. Hardwood is typically more expensive than carpet and should be treated with care. Although you can't always prevent damage from happening, you can take the steps necessary to protect your flooring if you have a pipe burst or other emergency.
Causes of Water Damage
Commercial buildings are particularly vulnerable to water damage due to the size of the water system in the building. Although a wet floor can be caused by something as simple as a water spill, here are a few of the main causes.
- Pipe burst
- Toilet Overflow
- Heavy rainfall
- Leaking roof
- Fire sprinkler system
How to Prevent it
While there is no way to completely prevent problems from occurring, there are some measures you can take to help protect your business. Getting your roof checked regularly can help you avoid leaks. Same goes for your pipe and fire sprinkler system. Placing signs in the restroom asking patrons to dispose of feminine hygiene products in the trash instead of the toilet can help prevent major overflows. Most importantly, make sure your insurance policy is up-to-date in case flooding does happen.
How to Clean it
Time is of the utmost importance when it comes to cleaning wet floors. Small spills or overflows should be taken care of immediately; however, larger jobs can become more challenging. You may need wet vac or pump if the building is flooded. If too much liquid is left on the wood floor for too long, the floors can rot or buckle. They may require special treatment from an experienced company.
Taking precautions is one of the best ways to help avoid having a pipe burst or a toilet overflow at your business in Tuckahoe, NY. Always cleanup spills right away, and call a professional restoration company if the job is too extensive to be handled internally. Never delay treatment if you notice damage to your floors.
The Cost of Mold Removal
Mold remediation specialists in Bronxville, NY
The Cost of Mold Removal
There are many reasons you want to avoid mold damage in your home. Obviously, you don’t want your Bronxville, NY, house and belongings covered in mold. You also don’t want to have to deal with expensive mold removal.
Mold cleanup includes three steps, each of which has its own costs. They are:
- Mold inspections
- Air sampling
If you suspect that your house has mold, you should first hire an inspector to determine the extent of the problem. An inspection from a qualified professional should cost between $200 and $600.
Visible mold does not always require air sampling. However, if the inspector can't find where the mold is, he may take an air sample and send it to a lab for testing. This step in the mold removal process can cost an additional $30 to $150 per sample.
Once the lab test determines that the mold is present, you can start the mold remediation process. You may be able to handle minor mold cleanup on your own. However, more extensive damage may require a visit from an emergency restoration services company.
The cost of black mold removal can vary based on the size and extent of the mold infestation. Removing mold from crawlspaces should cost between $500 and $4,000. Structural damage, however, may cost between $10,000 and $30,000 to repair.
What About Insurance?
Your insurer will provide financial assistance if the mold results from an emergency that is covered by your policy. Flood insurance can also help when mold grows following a storm. However, if the mold was caused by a persistent moisture problem or delayed maintenance to your home, you may have to pay for the black mold cleanup out of pocket.
Mold damage can be expensive, and it may not be covered by your insurance. To avoid spending money on mold removal, you should keep your home as dry as possible and address any leaks immediately.
How to Prevent Odor in Your Home After a Flood
Storms in Tuckahoe, NY caused flooding that unfortunately affected this residential client.
How to Prevent Odor in Your Home After a Flood
After a flood in Tuckahoe, NY, damage to your home can create several problems. One of these is a lingering odor in your house. There can be multiple reasons for this, from bacteria to mold growth. To prevent or remove a bad smell in your house after a storm, perform the following steps.
1. Remove the Water Quickly
Flood water is classified as category 3 which means that it is highly contaminated. It can bring mud, debris, bacteria and even waste into your home. If it is allowed to remain for an extended period of time, the bacteria can spread throughout the house, affecting walls, floors and furniture. For this reason, it should be removed as soon as possible.
2. Clean Everything
Because water from a flood can bring a lot of contaminants, including mold spores, into your house, it is important to clean and sanitize everything thoroughly. Otherwise, bacteria and mold growth will continue. These can contribute to a bad smell in the home, along with other potential problems. Clean all hard surfaces and any porous materials that you can. Severely damaged items may need to be replaced.
3. Inspect for Mold
If everything has been thoroughly cleaned but you are still noticing a musty odor, then you likely have a mold growth hidden somewhere in your house. Because this fungus can grow in most places, colonies do not always form in visible areas. You can hire a cleanup and restoration service to perform an inspection and remove any excessive mold that has formed.
Whether the water in your home is from a severe storm or from a sewage loss, you should be careful when dealing with it. While it is important to have it removed as soon as possible, you should avoid touching contaminated water. The best course of action is to call a professional service to have the area cleaned for you.
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.