How To Know If You Have Mold Coverage
In general, damage to your personal items is your responsibility, while damage to the building falls under the property owner's tasks.
If you rent your home in Fort Collins, CO, sometimes the lines between the damages to the property owner's insurance and the problems your own rental insurance covers get blurred. When it comes to mold damage, the responsibility for remediation services can be determined by answering a few key questions.
1. Did you know about it? Insurance companies expect their policyholders to be observant and responsible. If you know about a mold problem and you let it get out of hand, the insurance company is probably not going to cover the cost of mold removal. If, on the other hand, there is no way you could know that the damage exists, the expenses are likely to be covered by either the owner's property policy or your rental insurance.
2. Did you do something about it? The next step after knowledge is action. If you know there is a problem, and you do not report it or do anything to fix it, you are going to have a hard time convincing your insurance company that you deserve compensation for the repairs. If, however, you reported the problem as soon as you discovered it, your agent is more likely to be willing to work with you to see if you can get money to pay for remediation.
3. Does your policy specifically mention mold? Most renters' insurance policies typically cover only the policyholder's belongings. The mold on the wall caused by high humidity, therefore, probably falls under your landlord's responsibility and thus his or her insurance. If the property owner doesn't fix the problem, however, you may be at a disadvantage. This is a time when it's good to have a specific mold clause in your policy to cover you in circumstances where the property owner refuses to do so.
In general, damage to your personal items is your responsibility, while damage to the building falls under the property owner's tasks. It's important to know what is and is not covered by your policy.
3 Signs of a Water Leak in Your Business
By being aware of the signs of a water leak, you can keep your business safe.
When you own or manage a business, it’s essential to keep your building clean and well-maintained. However, a water leak can quickly cause damage to your business in Fort Collins, CO. Even if there isn’t visible damage, there are several signs that your business is experiencing a leak.
1. Increased Water Bill
Water damage from leaks isn’t always immediately apparent, but slow leaks can devastate a business over time. One way to spot a leak before it causes too much damage is to monitor your water bill. If you notice an unexplained increase in your water bill, it may be due to leaking water. Monitoring your water bill can help you prevent a pipe break or leak from causing too much damage.
2. Mold Growth
Mold is often a telltale sign of a water leak. Mold grows in dark, damp environments, and leaks can help create the perfect environment for mold growth. Beyond looking for dark spots that can signify mold’s presence, a musty smell can also indicate that mold is present. Overall, it’s important to not allow mold to grow in your business.
3. Changes in Your Water Meter
Your business’s water meter allows you to track your water usage. If you have a leak from a pipe break that is quickly emitting water, you’ll be able to identify it. To do this, make sure that no water is being used in your building, and see if your water meter still indicates that water is being used. Even if you suspect you have a leak that is occurring slowly, you can keep a check on your water meter over an hour or two as long as you are certain no water is being purposefully used.
By being aware of the signs of a water leak, you can keep your business safe. Though a disaster company should be called for large leaks, if you do suspect that your building has a smaller leak, professionals in water damage cleanup can help you locate the leak and restore your pipes.
5 Things To Do If You Smell Gas
If you have a gas stove, furnace or dryer, you may be able to slow or stop the leak by turning off your appliances.
If You Smell Gas, Here Are 5 Things You Should Do
Have you ever walked into your Loveland, CO home to an aroma of gas? This smell can signal to you that there's a hazard in your house. Natural gas can leak into your home and create a nice habitat for fire. If you notice the pungent aroma, you need to take a couple of steps to ensure you don't start a gas fire.
1. Avoid sparks. Gas is highly combustible. If you add a spark to the environment, you could set off a gas explosion. You can avoid sparks by keeping all the lights in the house turned off. Only use flashlights if you need them.
2. Start ventilation. Allowing the gas to escape can help you avoid a catastrophic gas fire. Open as many windows and doors as you can to get the gases out as best as possible.
3. Turn off appliances. If you have a gas stove, furnace or dryer, you may be able to slow or stop the leak by turning off your appliances. If it is safe for you to venture further into the house, you can turn off burners that accidentally got bumped on, for example.
4. Shut off gas. If you know where the gas meter is located, you can go one step further by turning off the gas supply to the house. Don't got searching for this meter in an emergency, but only venture to it if you know exactly where it is.
5. Leave the house. Evacuating your home is a necessary part of a gas leak. Try to congregate with the rest of your family in a safe location. Make sure you call emergency responders. You can also call fire restoration professionals if necessary.
Smelling natural gas in your home can put you on edge. Taking smart, precautionary steps can help you avoid a gas fire and keep your entire family safe.
Tips to Maintaining Your Sump Pump
A sump pump will help ensure that your home is safe from flooding.
Suggestions for Keeping Your Sump Pump in Working Order
Though it’s one of the most important items in your home, you may not even think much about your sump pump. This critical tool works in areas of Loveland, CO, that have both high and low groundwater. It will help ensure that your home is safe from flooding, and it usually does its job without concern. However, like any appliance or system you have at home, it’s important to maintain this pump and ensure that it’s in proper working condition.
How Often Should You Check on It?
It may be easy to forget about doing pump maintenance, but you don’t want to go too long before you inspect it. You can do this yourself or have a qualified technician look at it.
• Inspect it at least once a year.
• Spring is an ideal time to maintain it.
• You may need to check on it more frequently if you have high groundwater.
Unlike other appliances or tools in your home, you may not even know where to find your sump pump. If you’re not sure, look for the lowest point in your home, which will be in your basement or crawl space. Your home will never have a sump pump on the upper floor.
Check for Power
Your pump works on electricity, so it’s critical that electrical connection is sound and working as it should. Problems in the power connection are common reasons your pump may not be working.
Make Sure it’s Oriented Correctly and Pumping Water
If your pump is tilted or leaning to one side or the other, it won’t work effectively. Check to ensure it’s sitting straight. Also, you need to verify that it’s actually pumping water. To do this, manual pour water into the pump and see whether it discharges it.
You can’t afford to have sump pump problems in the event of a flood. If you follow these steps, you can keep it working smoothly.
How To Prevent Mold by Protecting Your Building From Ice Dams
Keep the rain gutters clear of debris and sludge.
Mold Prevention In Your Building
When ice builds up at the edge of your roof, the resulting ridge is called an ice dam. When the snow behind it melts, it can seep into the attic of your commercial property in Loveland, CO, causing water damage that can lead to black mold. Before long, the problem has compromised the structural integrity of your property. To help prevent mold in your building's attic, you need to prevent ice dams from forming.
Ice dams can cause serious water damage to your building, and where there is water damage, there is often mold. Water leaking from your roof can find its way into several areas:
- Crawl spaces
When this happens, mold can start to grow within as little as 48 hours. If the problem goes unresolved for long, you will need to call in restoration specialists for mold cleanup and water damage repair.
Of course, the best way to prevent water damage from an ice dam is to keep it from forming in the first place. The best way to do this is to keep the rain gutters clear of debris and sludge. Having your gutters cleaned regularly all year long helps them do the job they were designed to do, which is channel water off your roof and away from your building.
Good ventilation in the attic is helpful as well, especially if your building's roof is sloped. If heat is not channeled out of the building effectively, it rises into the peak of the roof, leaving the edges significantly cooler. Heavy precipitation completes the trifecta to create the perfect situation for a ridge of ice to form at the edge. Insulation of ductwork and other areas of the attic can keep heat from escaping and melting ice unevenly as well.
Preventing leaks may be as simple as taking the necessary precautions to keep an ice dam from forming. Without moisture to add to the warm environment, mold is less likely to grow.
How Water Damage Impacts Your House
How Water Damage Affects Your Home
Major flooding at your home in Loveland, CO, leaves you wondering if your house is a total loss. Luckily, most building materials eventually dry out and are salvageable. However, some are not. From swelling wood to soaking drywall, learn what can be saved and what must go.
Wood and Wood Composite
Many items in your home are made from real wood or a composite, some can be restored and others cannot:
Wood composite material is porous and absorbs water. The swelling wood is compromised and needs to be removed.
Solid wood usually dries out, returns to its original shape and remains structurally sound. The drying process needs to begin within the first 48 hours, however, so mold does not set in.
As long as it is not warped, real wood flooring is likely salvageable. It may need to be removed for a short time to dry the subfloor.
Drywall and Insulation
When water damages a home, drywall and insulation absorb the moisture and take a long time to dry. The following factors impact whether or not the materials can be saved:
The length of time between when water damage occurs and the drying process begins is crucial. In order to save the drywall, complete the water pipe repair and begin the drying process within 48 hours at most. Otherwise, there is a chance for mold to grow.
When water damage comes from a clean water source, such as a water supply line, there is a chance of saving the drywall. When contaminated water, such as sewage, floods your home the affected areas need to be removed for health reasons.
Discard and replace drywall if there is evidence that it is bulging, disintegrating, sagging, or exhibiting any signs of mold.
Saturated insulation needs to be replaced unless it is water-resistant closed-cell foam.
The key to saving more materials at your home in Loveland, CO, is to immediately begin the drying process. Work with a water restoration specialist as soon as you notice swelling wood or other signs of water damage.
Cook Smart With These 3 Kitchen Safety Tips
Burned kitchen in Loveland, CO.
What Is The Best Way To Ensure Safety In The Kitchen
You do it every day, oftentimes three times a day, without a second thought: cooking. For many people, cooking is second nature, and the thought of a grease fire or a kitchen fire is far from their minds. However, even the most experienced of cooks have set fire to their stoves once or twice. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, kitchen fires are the leading cause of house fires. Fortunately, kitchen fires are highly preventable, with these tips from fire restoration experts in Loveland, CO:
- Keep track of what you place on your stovetop.
- Remain in the kitchen while you cook.
- Wear proper cooking attire.
Know What’s on Your Stovetop
One of the biggest culprits of kitchen fires is miscellaneous items left on stovetops, such as towels, papers, appliance cords and curtains. Keep your stovetop clear of all items that do not belong on a hot surface or, at the very least, know what is on your stove before turning it on. By keeping track of what you place on your burners, you can know what to remove and therefore prevent kitchen fires.
Stay in the Kitchen While You Cook
This tip is especially important if you have small children or animals. Children and pets may be small, but they’re quick, and if left unattended for even a second, they could unwittingly knock a hot pot from the stovetop or place a flammable item on its surface. Protect your home and your family by remaining in the kitchen and vigilant the entire time you’re cooking.
Wear Proper Clothing
This is one of the most ignored cooking tips but probably one of the wisest. Many kitchen fires start because a flowing sleeve or a too-big shirt gets caught in a gas grill, burner, or open flame. Make sure to wear tight clothing while cooking, and roll up long sleeves.
Kitchen fires can be extremely dangerous, not to mention the extensive amount of fire damage they can cause. Fortunately, such fires are preventable. With these three tips, you can cook smart and stay safe whenever you decide to yield a spatula and frying pan.
Commercial Tenants: What Are My Responsibilities After a Flood?
Storm damage in Loveland, CO.
What Should We Do After Floods?
If you are a commercial tenant in Loveland, CO, you may be wondering what you are legally responsible for if your building sustains flood damage. There are three things that you and your renter’s insurance are responsible for, and others that the owner of the property handles.
Understanding your obligations puts you in a better place to take charge of your personal losses and protect your rights as a tenant.
1. Reporting Damage to Personal Property
As a renter of damaged property, you will be in charge of damages related to the contents of the building after a flood. If you have insurance coverage that protects you in case of destruction to your belongings, you should be financially covered in that respect. In any case, you need to calculate your personal losses to begin the process of replacing your items.
2. Relocation Considerations
If you are looking to relocate your business temporarily, check to see if your policy includes coverage for such relocation. If it does, you will be able to use the coverage to pay for your temporary expenses related to moving the business, at least up to a certain extent. Commercial storm damage professionals may be able to work with either your or your landlord’s insurance company to make the cleanup process easier. Coverage levels do vary, so always look into what your specific policy allows.
3. Communicating With Your Landlord
Beyond the damages protected by insurance, it is your responsibility to let your landlord know if you are seeking a rent adjustment due to hardship. If you need to move operations temporarily and will not be paying for your lease or want to cancel the lease altogether due to displacement, you need to communicate these intentions as soon as possible.
No matter how extensive the destruction to your possessions is, reporting it to your renter’s insurance is always a good idea. This covers all of your bases and allows you to understand how you can start working toward replacing your valuables.
Tips to Keep Your Business Operating During a Snow Storm
Keep an eye on weather alerts and news.
Living in Loveland, CO, you need to be prepared for a snowstorm, even if you don’t expect one to happen. Keeping your business operating depends on it.
Protect Pipes and Valves
Pipe damage is a common yet avoidable consequence of extremely cold weather. Properly insulating pipes and valves, such as a hose faucet on the side of the building, can save your business from one type of disaster, at least. A valve or pipe exposed to extreme cold without proper insulation is at a higher risk of making the valve or pipe burst. Not only would this mean extensive water damage to repair, but it would also mean replacing the pipes, all of which can get rather costly.
Arrange for Working at Home
Traversing across town in a snowstorm can be a nightmare. You don’t want your employees to have to risk life and property unnecessarily, but you also don’t want to shut down the business. One increasingly popular option is to set up your business in a way that employees are capable of working from home should the need arise. While this may not be possible with all types of positions, such as restaurant staff or construction workers, it’s certainly a doable workaround for staff whose jobs are mainly performed using computers and phones.
Keep an Eye on Weather Alerts and News
Because approaching storms and their trajectories can often be seen in advance, watching the news for weather warnings can provide a valuable lead time for making preparations you might not have otherwise thought of. Weather patterns can form and change abruptly, too, so check back regularly, especially during the winter or other times when seasonal storms are more likely in Loveland, CO.
When a snowstorm proves to be more than merely an inconvenience, professional storm cleanup may be necessary. Having a plan worked out in advance may save valuable time to get you back in business.
3 Helpful Tips When Creating Business Evacuation Drills
It is important to communicate fire drill directions clearly.
Organizing a Fire Drill
A fire drill or evacuation plan is as essential to your Loveland, CO, business as insurance or an emergency restoration service at hand. It helps your employees make decisions that protect them. It is also a multilayered operation that must consider multiple factors and the perspectives of everyone in the work team. These tips can help you create a thoughtful and successful plan.
1. Consider Multiple Perspectives
Since your team works in different parts of your establishment, they will all have varying experiences when performing a drill. Some employees might have an easier time escaping via a specific route than others. Include representatives from each department to agree on a drill plan that benefits everyone. Additionally, employees with special needs might need additional assistance when evacuating, such as breathing equipment, wheelchair-accessible exits, and designated helpers. Ensure these resources are available to anyone who needs them.
2. Establish Clear Communication
Staff and clients need to act fast during a dangerous situation, so it is important to communicate fire drill directions clearly. The best way to direct evacuees towards safe locations is by placing signage that points towards the correct path and the eventual exit, in addition to alternatives if the main exit is blocked. Communicate these routes and practice them with the workers until they memorize them. Teach your employees other useful skills such as guiding others during the evacuation, using a fire extinguisher and reporting an incident.
3. Pace the Frequency of the Drills
Evacuation practices are meant to prepare your team against any emergency. While you might want to practice often, this decision can actually backfire. Excessively frequent drills can cause your workers to become complacent or bored. Also, you need time to identify potential areas of improvement and implement changes. Arrange for a healthy mix of announced and surprise drills.
Organizing a fire drill or any other evacuation preparation can be overwhelmingly complex, but it is necessary to keep your staff safe. Practices such as these can help you plan more effectively.